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Full text of "Omni Magazine (May 1993)"




















First Word 

A Clean, Well-Lighted 

By Roald Hoffmann and 


Vivian Torrence 

, ;„_', 

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By Ben Bova 

A Nobel Prize winner 

Solar-power satellites, U.S. 


-^;- .^- : ~ ~-.~- :*■--. ■ 

energy needs, 

his scientific muses. 

and a brighter future 


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— - fe. 

Space Myths 


"*'*'" . 

O" "-r^teEsSs^^-^ 

fi~?-c '. 

and Misconceptions 


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By James Oberg 

By Linda Marsa 

«• "*"-"-; - " 

How much of what you 

Barter moves into the 

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Political Science 

about space is wrong? 


2001 at 25 


By Tom Dworetzky 


By, Piers Bizony 

We must discover the 


A look back at the making 

way of 


of an epic 

the civilian warrior. 

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■ * 





Jose Bonaparte: Master 

Electronic Universe 

Ll L 


of the Mesozoic 

By Gregg Keizer 

By Don Lessem 


In Argentina, a man with 


' , , 

no formal 

By James Sallis 


paleontological training is 


' 1 

digging up the 


- 1 

world's weirdest dinosaurs, 

By Michelle Kearns 

1 1 

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Energy efficiency comes 

1 1 

:*»* ".: 


''.'■->, * - 

Fiction: The Diane Arbus 

first at a New 

■ 1 




Suicide Portfolio 

Jersey architectural firm. 




By Marc Laidlaw 



i^:- A 

'K" t ■ * ; 

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Somalia's Cry 


JVe focus on 

some rather unusual space-related 


By Marion Long 


this month: delivering solar power to the 

Photos give "voice to the 


Earth via an 

orbiting satellite, correcting some 




held beliefs about spaceflight 

and cele- 


By Scot Morris 

jrating the 

novie that crystallized o 

r dreams about 


]Q-test answers 


. (Art and photo credits 

page 90) 

By Sukle Miller 

"h? USA Cariaoa. 

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Reflections on science 

By Roald Hoffmann and Vivian Torrence 

In 1947 I was ten years old. We 
were in a DP (displaced per- 
sons] camp in Wasseralfingen, 
then in the French Occupation 
Zone of postwar Germany, wait- 
ing for a visa to come to the 
United States. Or maybe we'd go 
to Israel. Or, in the desperate mo- 
ments when the visa seemed un- 
attainable, my stepfather even 
thought of signing a labor con- 
tract (in exchange for a visa) to 
work in the mines in Chile. 

I was becoming proficient in 
my fourth language, German, 
and doing well in school, a 

Hoffmann won the 
1981 Nobel 

Prize in chemistry 
(shared with 
Kenichl Fukul), and 
Torrence 's work 
is in the coflections 
of the Art Insti- 
tute of Chicago 
i? and the Des 
T* Moines Art 

school typical of the period, 
where every class had kids of dif- 
ferent ages, for who had gone to 
school during the war? I read 
much, and somehow there came 
my way two books, biographies 
of scientists. One was of George 
Washington Carver, the black agri- 
cultural chemist, the other the 
biography of Marie Curie by her 
daughter Eve. I read both in Ger- 
man translation. 

In the story of Carver, I was fas- 
cinated by the transformations he 
wrought with the peanut and the 
sweet potato. Ink and coffee 
from peanuts, rubber 
and glue from the 
sweet potato! Per- 
haps part of the ro- 
mance was that I 
had never seen nor 
tasted either peanuts 
or sweet potatoes. 

My Polish back- 
ground certainly pro- 
vided a ground of em- 
pathy for watching 
Marja Sklodowska 
transformed into Ma- 
rie Curie. But Eve Cu- 
rie's story touched 
something deeper. I 
remember to this day 
the scene when Pi- 
erre and Marie com- 
pleted the painstak- 
ing isolation of a 
tenth of a gram of 
radium from a ton of 
crude pitchblende. 
They put the children 
to bed and walked back to their 
laboratory. I must quote now, from 
Vincent Sheean's translation: 
Pierre put the key in the 
lock. The door squeaked, as it 
had squeaked thousands of 
and admitted them to 
their realm, to their dream. 

"Don't light the lamps!" Ma- 
rie said in the darkness. Then 
she added with a little laugh: 
"Do you remember the day 

when you said to me, 'I should 
like radium to have a beau- 
tiful color?" 

The reality was more entranc- 
ing than the simple wish of 
long ago. Radium had some- 
thing better than "a beautiful": 
it was spontaneously luminous. 
And in the somber shed where, 
in the absence of cupboards, 
the precious particles in their ti- 
ny glass receivers were placed 
on tables or on shelves nailed 
to the wall, their phosphores- 
cent bluish outlines gleamed, 
suspended in the night. 

"Look . . . Look!" the young 
woman murmured. 

She went forward cautiously, 
looked for and found a straw- 
bottomed chair. She sat down 
in the darkness and silence. 
Their two faces turned toward 
the pale glimmering, the myste- 
rious sources of radiation, to- 
ward radium — their radium. Her 
body leaning forward, her 
head eager, Marie took up 
again the attitude which had 
been hers an hour earlier at the 
bedside of her sleeping child. 
Her companion's hand light- 
ly touched her hair. 

She was to remember forev- 
er this evening of glowworms, 
this magic. 

Years have passed. The boy 
whose interest in science was 
stirred by German translations of 
a story of a Black American ap- 
plied scientist and a French-Pol- 
ish woman chemist is older. He 
rereads these books, and sees 
that they are hagiographies. The 
romance is off the radium. But Ma- 
rie Curie still makes him cry. DO 

Reprinted from the book, Chem- 
istry Imagined: Reflections on 
Science by Roald Hoffmann and 
Vivian Torrence, published by the 
Smithsonian Institution Press. 
Copyright 1993 by Roald Hoff- 
mann and Vivian Torrence. 


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Question for Clinton, asking'about the 

and getting real 


Into the Great Wide Open 

Buzz Aldrin thinks he has the solution 
to saving the space station [Space, Jan- 
uary 1993], Ha! While preserving what 
has been developed, making it happen 
faster, making it less expensive, and, fi- 
nally, making It politically viable by us- 
ing the Russian Energia all sounds 
good, I would like to pose a few ques- 
tions. Is the real problem our lack of a 
heavy lifter? Maybe our real problem is, 
as author Brenda Forman suggests, "po- 
litical battles over its funding, purpos- 
es, and design." Maybe our real prob- 
lem is Congress's "mandated half-doz- 
en redesigns." If cost is the central 
issue, why has Congress been spend- 
ing so much money redesigning the 
space station? Could we have built it 
and launched it and met former presi- 
dent Reagan's 1992 deadline? I don't 
want to demean Aldrin. He's a hero! But 
let's consider new solutions. Will Presi- 
dent Clinton see the benefits, honor, 
and justice in opening up space like his 

Mark Corliss 
Vashon, WA 

A Culture Speaks 

In your December 1992 issue, author 
Melanie Menagh writes about (he 500th 
anniversary of peace maintained be- 
tween the Turks and the Jews. Ironical- 
ly, this article suggests that Turkey was 
the perfect nation in dealing with differ- 
ent ethnic groups — as if all nations, who 
undoubtedly have problems with ethnic 
groups, should follow Turkey since it is 
the perfect role model. As an Armeni- 
an American, I know the Turks haven't 
had a clean record throughout history. 
They massacred 1.5 million Armenians 
in 1915. Throughout Armenian history, 
Turks have persecuted and oppressed 
Armenians time and time again. 

Kristine Choulakian 
North Hollywood, CA 

The Real McCoy 

Your November 1992 issue contained 
a fascinating article about cyberpunks 
and the techno-underground. While we 
..cannot disagree with author A. J. S. 

Rayl's views of the culture, we do disa- 
gree with the characterization of these 
radicals as computer cowboys. We are 
Computer Cowboys and are proud of 
the heritage of the cowboy. We, too, 
ride the nether world of bitstreams and 
databases. However, we seek not to cir- 
cumvent barriers and wreak havoc, We 
act in the more traditional role of cow- 
boys who worked as ranch hands to 
help the ranch owner bring products to 
market and make a profit. As Comput- 
er Cowboys, Inc., our reputation is es- 
tablished as a company that delivers 
practical and workable technology, so- 
lutions, and support to those who hire 
us. This is the antithesis of Rayl's de- 
scription of computer cowboys. 

Virginia Hoyt 

' Computer Cowboys, Inc. 

Joplin, MO 

Brave New World 

While this fantastic magazine has 
amazed me ever since the first issue, 
I have never been so inspired to write 
in thanks and admiration before now. 
Cutting-edge science always impress- 
es, especially when one tracks its de- 
velopments and changes over time. Be- 
ing part of a generation (I'm a 22-year- 
oid college graduate) inheriting a world 
of technology and discovery, I am also 
aware of a fundamental change. Feel- 
ing that a true renaissance is upon us, 
it's impossible not" to be scared, 
thrilled, proud, and hopeful. I'm confi- 
dent that Omni, through insight and 
foresight, will continue to be at the 
helm of this new exploration. Tom Mad- 
dox summed up a feeling that will very 
soon pervade "science" at large with 
"Gravity's Angel" [November 1992], a 
fantastic and terribly realistic piece of 
fiction. It is extremely comforting and 
reassuring to see that there are other 
people wary of, and disgusted with, the 
complacency and rigidity which is gum- 
ming up the gears of real progress. With- 
out a new roster of Galileos and God- 
dards, we will remain scientifically stag- 
nant. Onward! 

Gregory Cupples 
New Bedford, MA DO 


Gateway to a cashless society? 

By Linda Marsa 

Barter, ol course, 

is a practice 

as old as business 

itself— and 

Peter Minuit's 

slick swap ot 

$24 worth of Cloth 

and trinkets 

for the deed to 

Island still ranks 

as the deal 

of the millennium. 

The 1984 Summer Olym- 
pics in Los Angeles was 
the first modern Olympi- 
ad to actually turn a tidy profit for 
the host city — thanks to some 
shrewd maneuvering by Olympic 
officials who relied on barter to 
trade licensing rights for S1 16 mil- 
lion worth of goods and services 
from 30 major corporations. 

Today, more than 240,000 busi- 
nesses, ranging from doctors, law- 
yers, caterers, dentists, restau- 
rants, accountants, hotels, and 
building contractors to household 
names like Xerox, Pan 
Am, Ramada Inns, 
McDonnell Douglas, 
Mattel, and Hilton, con- 
ducted $5.9 billion of 
barter transactions in 
1991, according to the 
International Recipro- 
cal Trade Association, 
up from 90,000 firms 
doing $2.2 billion 
worth of swaps a dec- 
ade earlier. The slug- 
gish economy is fuel- 
ing this phenomenal 
growth because barter 
can preseve cash and 
swell business 10 to 
15 percent by using 
excess services and 

For Fortune 500 cor- 
porations, the concept of barter 
used to be a dirty little secret be- 
cause it reeked of unloading un- 
salable inventories at distress 
sale prices. No longer. The cata- 
clysmic shifts in the geopolitical 
landscape have changed that, 
too. Former Eastern Bloc nations 
simply don't have hard currency. 
So companies like Pepsi, eager 
to capitalize on these untapped 
markets, have been unabashed- 
ly swapping soft syrup for vodka. 
Plus, the recent development of 
a trading network that harnesses 
the speed of supercomputers 
may be the gateway to a cash- 

less society in the twenty-first cen- 
tury. Barter, once relegated to the 
back'door of the economic under- 
ground, has gone legit. 

"Barter won't save a failing busi- 
ness. But it can give ones that 
are surviving a real competitive 
edge, because it allows them to 
buy retail with their own whole- 
sale costs," says Stephen Fried- 
land, president of Los Angeles- 
based BXI International, which 
has more than 12,500 members 
and 75 branches. Founded in 
1960, BXI was the first modern bar- 

ter exchange and is still the larg- 
est of the nation's estimated 400 
trading networks. 

Typically, exchanges handle re- 
cord keeping, expedite the flow 
of trades, and promote clients 
through directories and newslet- 
ters. In return, they take a 10- to 
15-percent slice off the top of 
each trade. All transactions are 
now reported to the IRS, so bar- 
tering is no longer a convenient 
tax dodge. 

People offer goods and ser- 
vices for "credits" or "dollars" 
"that can be traded on barter ex- 
changes, And those "trade dol- 

lars" can add up. For example, a 
graphic designer used barter cred- 
its for a $20,000 down-payment 
on a house, and a music teacher 
went on a photo safari in Kenya — 
courtesy of her local barter ex- 
change. Last year, New York's 
Lexington Hotel acquired a 
$150,000 computer system in ex- 
change for $300,000 worth of 
room credits. Since the Lexington 
always has vacant rooms, its on- 
ly real expense was paying house- 
keepers to tidy the rooms. 
If you think your business 
could benefit from bar- 
ter, check out the 
track record of a trade 
exchange before you 
join. Find out how long 
the exchange has been 
around. Does the net- 
work have a directory 
of its members? Does 
it offer products and 
services you can gen- 
uinely use? Can you 
trade leftover invento- 
ry or services for items 
you would otherwise 
pay for in cash? 

A new state-of-the- 
art software system, 
UltraTrade, designed 
for supercomputers, 
may ultimately even 
transform the way we 
do business. About 400 midsized 
companies in Southern California 
are already online with Ultra- 
Trade, If all major U.S. companies 
used this trading system, experts 
estimate it would generate addi- 
tional annual sales of $1 .5 trillion. 
"We're on the edge of something 
unbelievable," says Bob Meyer, 
editor of BarterNews. "The day 
you can get anything you want on 
this exchange — which would re- 
quire a critical mass of about 
4,000 major companies — this 
will take off exponentially," And 
probably make the green stuff 
obsolete. DO 



Is civilian life the continuation of war by othermeans? 

By Tom Dworetzky 

The warrior spirit, long cel- 
ebrated in verse and sto- 
ry, is not simple busi- 
ness, You've got to be strong, 
hard, focused, disciplined — and 
in this country— politically neutral. 
Recently, Harry G. Summers, Jr., 
a lecturer and distinguished fel- 
low at the Army War College, 
wrote an essay in the Los Ange- 
les Times in which he argued, per- 
suasively, that an army engaged 
in peacekeeping and other polit- 
ico-diplomatic endeavors would 
undermine the political neutrality 
of the corps. 

Will all 

this peacekeeping 

In Somalia 

and elsewhere sap 

the military 

warrior's lighting 


He quotes several military ex- 
perts who point out the conflicts 
and potential dangers of mixing 
peacekeeping with war making. 
None is more chillingly compel- 
ling than the passages from an 
award-winning essay by Lt. Col, 
Charles E, Dunlap, Jr., written at 
the National War College, enti- 
tled, "The Origins of the American 
Military Coup of 2012." 

The bottom line: The coup was 
the result of the all-too-many "non- 
traditional duties" people forced 
the military to play, to the point 
that "people in the military no long- 
er considered themselves warri- 
ors." Moreover, they no longer 

considered themselves apolitical 

I defer to the experts on the mil- 
itary mind. I believe they accurate- 
ly voice a real veiled threat in- 
deed. Some of the military un- 
doubtedly will resist civilians tell- 
ing them what their role is. Fire 
us, divert us to road building, peo- 
ple feeding, and doing other 
stuff that we don't want to do, and 
we might insist that you let us pro- 
tect you from the threats that we 
think you face. 

At a time when civilians, the 
bill payers, are considering just 
how much military power they 
can afford and just what the 
threats really are to their securi- 
ty, this is a critical issue. I under- 
stand and will accept that em- 
pires may have collapsed be- 
cause their weak, civilianized 
armies weren't up to battling hun- 
gry, aggressive outsiders. (Sum- 
mers cites the Greeks folding be- 
fore the rough-hewn Romans.) 
But I find that argument just a bit 
too selective. 

Consider what Carl von Clause- 
witz said regarding war: "It is 
clear that war should never be 
thought of as something autono- 
mous but always as an instru- 
ment of policy; otherwise, the en- 
tire history of war would contra- 
dict us."Orfurther, he says, "War 
is not merely an act of policy but 
a true political instrument, a con- 
tinuation of political intercourse 
carried on by other means. What 
remains peculiar to war is simply 
the peculiar nature of its 
means." Clausewitz therefore im- 
plies that the military is part of the 
political continuum. 

Today there's much policy up- 
heaval related to the military-indus- 
trial complex. We've got troops 
from many nations Working togeth- 
er to feed people in Somalia, 
chase drug barons to the South, 
■intervene as global police in the 
Middle East and elsewhere. More- 

over, in an attempt to finally get 
our house in order and develop 
an industrial policy worthy of the 
name, our truly impressive nation- 
al lab systems are at last being 
pushed away from endless 
James Bond military research in- 
to useful civilian efforts to devel- 
op technology we can actually 
talk about and sell. 

The issue Summers raises, how- 
ever, is worth thinkiing about. War- 
riors, just like steel and auto mak- 
ers, need sensitive liberal think- 
ing and compassionate help in 
making the transition. They must be 
urged to discover the way of the 
civilian warrior. Summers warns 
that all this peacekeeping in 
Somalia and other places could 
well sap the military's fighting spir- 
it. "Such acoliapse of fighting spir- 
it could be as fatal to the survival 
of American civilization as it was 
to the Greek civilization." 

I don't think the implication — 
that liberals and other civilians 
are soft, weak, and afraid to die — 
is true. Each morning they arise 
to face the terror and dread of 
challenges as tough as those re- 
quired to "win" any battle — to fix 
what's wrong, to help those in 
need, to make a life. Is the world 
not everywhere a battlefield, a 
place of struggle against odds? 
To borrow from Clausewitz, can't 
you say, too, that peace is in 
some ways the continuation of 
war by other means? 

Maybe the secret history of 
war is that soldiers, when their pe- 
culiar means are no longer in de- 
mand, have often been turned 
out with less consideration, retrain- 
ing, and severance than other un- 
wanted workers. This is both un- 
kind to them and dangerous to so- 
ciety. What do you think they'll do 
when they're hungry? Same as 
anyone else. If you teach a man 
to fish, he fishes to survive. If you 
teach him to make war, he fights 





Online gaming matches your wits against real opponents 

By Gregg Keizer 

Playing the computer her- 
mit ain't much fun. Sure, 
you can plop down on 
the couch or squat in front of the 
computer screen and play against 
yourself. At times, the computer- 
created opponents are remarka- 
bly able. But they're nowhere 
near as crafty and contentious as 
a living, breathing adversary. 

The personal computer and vid- 
eogame machine may be the 
best thing since someone figured 

Willi the 

Sierra Network's 

fled B arm. 

a multiulayer 

World War 

out how to play solitaire with a 
deck of cards, but they're too 
much like Pat Buchanan's idea of 
foreign policy: isolationist. Com- 
puter and videogames operate 
with fewer social skills than a se- 
rial killer, play like a brain-dead 
one-trick pony, and rarely adjust 
to your playing style. Winning 
may be everything, but it gets bor- 
ing after awhile. 

Connected computers is the an- 
swer. Rather than play against 
the artificial life form held captive 
on the hard disk, you link your PC 
or Macintosh with other comput- 
er owners. Using a modem and 
the telephone lines, your comput- 
er communicates with other, like- 
minded machines. Data flows 
back and forth across the tele- 
phone lines, giving your moves to 
your opponent's computer and, 
in turn, putting his or hers on 
your screen. 

Doing all this yourself can be 
more trouble than the ensuing 
game is worth. You must find an 
opponent, arrange a time to 

play, and wade through the intri- 
cacies of telecommunications — 
no easy task for the best of us. A 
better way to find willing victims 
is through some sort of electron- 
ic clearinghouse. 

Fortunately, they already exist. 
Several online services— those da- 
ta networks that sport tens or hun- 
dreds of thousands of subscrib- 
ers—offer entertainment as well 
as information. Services like Com- 
puServe, Prodigy, and GEnie ail 
include games, some of them out- 
standing games, that let you 
play other people, not the PC. 

But today's best place to play 
is The Sierra Network (TSN), an 
all-game network! Using an ap- 
proach that's worked for Disney — 
TSN is laid out like an amusement 
park, divided into several "Lands" — 
this virtual game board offers a va- 
riety of multiplayer games and 
enough opponents to keep you 
sufficiently challenged. 

Once you connect with TSN, 
you're staring at a colorful map of 
the park. To enter a particular 
Land, you just point to it with the 
mouse and click. Logging on and 
navigating TSN is slick — simpler, 
in fact, than even Prodigy, the eas- 
iest-to-use general-purpose on- 
line service. 

TSN's unique make-a-f ace fea- 
ture lets you create a portrait 
that represents you in the games 
you play. With a composite kit 
like those used by the police, you 
mix and match head shapes, 
hair-.styles, clothing, and features 
to build your self-image. 

TSN features a general area 
that everyone can access, and 
(at the moment) three optional 
Lands that you pay extra to en- 
ter. The everyone-gets-in area, 
tucked away in the Clubhouse, 
features eight card and board 
games — bridge, chess, check- 
ers, and backgammon are four— 
that you play with others. Enter 
the waiting room, check out any- 

one hanging around, then chal- 
lenge him or her to a game. 
While you piay, you can talk to 
each other by typing in short mes- 
sages. You can also — with the 
players' permission — watch a. 
game in progress. 

But the Lands are what make 
TSN. LarryLand, named after Si- 
erra's goofy Leisure Suit Larry 
character, gives you a chance to 
play casino games like slots, rou- 
lette, blackjack, and poker. Lar- 
ryLand differs from the rest of 
TSN's locations in another way as 
well — it's an adult-only Land 
where the conversation tends to- 
ward the suggestive and mildly 
bawdy (though not enough to 
shock anyone who's sat through 
an R-rated movie). SierraLand 
opens up seven more games, 
from Red Baron, a multiplayer 
WWI aerial battleground, to Mini- 
Golf, a cute miniature-golf game. 
In fvledievaLand, you play The 
Shadow of Yserbius, a dungeon- 
crawling role-playing game that 
includes monsters and magi- 
cians, either solo or with a team 
of elves, dwarves, and trolls peo- 
pled with real people. fvledieva- 
Land is where the action is in 
TSN, for Yserbius almost always 
sports more players than any oth- 
er game. The fantasy of playing 
strong heroes and heroines ob- 
viously plays a part. 

At $13 for 30 hours of non- 
prime time per month and with 
additional time running $2 to $7 
per hour, TSN can get expensive. 
Add $4 per month for each Land 
you use, and its costs can rival 
the phone bill for a long-distance 
romance. Fortunately, you can 
tell TSN to cut you off after a set 
amount each month. 

The Sierra Network is a far cry 
from the too-often -abused term vir- 
tual reality. But it's a small step 
in that direction and the best 
place to play with and against peo- 
ple, not the dull-witted PC. Dd 



Jack Womack shows us our own world through a warped looking glass 

By James Sallis 

If 200 years from now our world 
were to be reconstructed from 
artifacts of pop culture — com- 
ics, martial-arts and science-fic- 
tion films, pop music, media im- 
agery — the result might be some- 
thing close to what we find in 
Jack Womack's work: a represen- 
tation at once horribly wrong and 
strangely right. 

Published early this year by 
Tor Books, Elvissey (as in odys- 
sey) follows Ambient (1987), 

Can anyone 

find redemption 

In WomaGk's 

grim world— even 

by bringing 

bach a living Elvis 

Presley from 

a parallel world? 


Terraplane (1988), and Hea!hern 
(1990) in Womack's projected six- 
volume series. The world of 
these books, presented as a uni- 
verse parallel to our own, mirrors 
much while it exaggerates or ut- 
terly transforms much else. 

The ground beneath you at 
first appears somewhat familiar. 
Mammoth corporation Dryco 
owns virtually everything; various 
armies and security forces vie for 
table scraps of power within cit- 
ies where casual slaughter is the 
order of the day. There's an om- 
niscient computer and an elite 
cadre of bodyguard-assassins; 
people cross over into other par- 
allel worlds. 

But in this world, Germans re- 

main Nazis, flying saucers are 
flight-tested in Mississippi, all 
blacks have been Randolphed, fe- 
male sculptors produce fetal art, 
and the C of E (Church of Elvis) 
is going strong. 

The mission at the heart of El- 
vissey's plot gives the word de- 
spair new meaning. The savage, 
brutal society we know from Wo- 
mack's earlier books is now be- 
ing "regooded," and to accom- 
plish this reformation (and consol- 
idate Dryco's sovereignty), Isabel 
and husband John are sent into 
a parallel world to bring back 
that world's Elvis so their society 
might worship him in the flesh. Is- 
abel is a black woman with hair 
straightened and skin lightened 
by chemicals, John a bodyguard- 
assassin whose violent impulses 
have been neutered with regood- 
ing drugs, and E, when they find 
him, is standing over the mother 
he just shot in adolescent rage. 

While Elvissey, in its relentless 
sense of futility and anomie, may 
well be the darkest of Womack's 
novels, it is also, with its empha- 
sis on inchoate, doomed relation- 
ships, perhaps the most human. 

Not surprisingly, Elvissey be- 
gins with Iz and John studying 
1950s slang, for language is an 
important part of what these 
books are about. They're written 
in a dense, supercharged idiom, 
almost telegraphic, yet also odd- 
ly poetic. Verbs become nouns 
and nouns verbs; prepositions 
graft to their objects: "My hus- 
band and I are mutualed," says 
Iz early on. "Change essentials, 
but I don't wish to asunder, and 
he'll not last if we do." 

Extrapolating from such cur- 
rent trends as the now-common 
use of impact as verb and adjec- 
tive, Womack's prose shows 
where our language may be head- 
ed, much as the books them- 
selves demonstrate what our cul- 
ture as a whole could become. 

This telegraphic compression, 
along with the furious spin of 
events — killings, mutilations, tri- 
plecrosses, takeovers — finally 
throws into sharp relief the fact 
that nothing much changes in 
this world; there is little real ac- 
tion, only activity Womack's char- 
acters are suspended in an end- 
less, unremitting present. History 
here exists, like ail the world'srav- 
aged resources (people includ- 
ed), for one purpose only: con- 
sumption. Even if dimly, his char- 
acters perceive that without his- 
tory, there's no chance of a future. 

Early in the novel, at a pretrip 
psychiatric session, Iz's comput- 
er analyzer repeats, "What is 
your fantasy about your trip?" 
again and again, until she realiz- 
es that this is no profound psy- 
chiatric ploy, that the machine is 
simply down, the loop stuck. Sim- 
ilarly, her whole culture is suspend- 
ed, stuttering, trying forever to 
loop back to things that once 
worked, if only briefly. The obvi- 
ous question arises: Like our own 
culture? Unlike our own? 

We understand our world, in- 
asmuch as we understand it at 
all, through metaphor, whether 
the metaphors are of science, re- 
ligion, history, or art. In his four nov- 
els to date, Jack Womack has in- 
vented a machine, a metaphoric 
engine, that in principle can en- 
compass and examine every- 
thing^ — serious sociological extrap- 
olation, high and low comedy, 
pulp adventure, pop iconogra- 
phy. Lionel Trilling pointed out the 
adversarial intent of modern writ- 
ing, its dedication to freeing the 
reader of habits of thought and 
feeling imposed upon him by the 
surrounding culture — literature as 
challenge, as danger — and that 
edge is obviously where Jack 
Womack chooses to work. 

I'm glad to have a dangerous 
man like him around. We're all 
jusi a little safer for it. DO 


Maverick architects show how style can save' energy 

By Michelle Kearns 

The Devil's work: 
Concern for 
Hie environment 
fed Jersey 
Devil to build 
efficient homes 
decades ago. 
But even during the 
years of the Reagan 
era, they bucked 
prevailing trends by 
creating such 
sensible and sassy 
structures as 
"Football House" 
(top), which 
has survived every 
since 1976, even 
while strad- 
dling the vofatile 
San Andreas 
Fault. Buildings 
such as "Air- 
plane House" (bot- 
tom) on a cold 
Colorado plain, keep 
residents com- 
fortable in winter 
with heaf- 
retalning, water- 
fillBd wells 
that absorb the 
warmth of 
sunlight and keep 
winter heating 
bills lew. In the sum- 
mer, the abode 
makes use 
ot "cool tubes." 

A football-shaped house near the 
San Andreas Fault has survived 
every earthquake since 1976. A 
grass-covered home peeks out 
from beneath the crest of a hill in 
Northern California, keeping 
warm all winter with no fuel. A Vir- 
ginia structure resembling a giant 
submarine sandwich suspended 
over a cliff boasts a 112-foot- 
long skylight that automatically 
blinks shut at night when the sun 
goes down. 

Funky style, energy efficiency, 
and weather-smart technology 
characterize Jersey Devil, a firm 
of three renegade architects. 
Named after a mythical beast 
that roams the pine barrens of 
Southern New Jersey, the team 
bucks their profession's conven- 
tions by traversing the country, 
handbuilding everything it puts 
on paper. "We're the architects, 
the general contractors, and the 
carpenters," says ringleader 
Steve Badanes. 

When the three joined forces in 
the late Sixties, Jersey Devil be- 
gan its unique approach to de- 
sign: getting intimate with a struc- 
ture's site by camping out in 
tents and vintage Airstream trail- 
ers. They stay put until the last 
nail is in place — sometimes two 
or three years later. 

Their unusual methods have 
led to far-out innovations. While 
goats lunch on the grass-covered 
roof of "Hill House," wedged in a 
California mountaintop overlook- 
ing-.the ocean, nature wreaks its 
havoc: Tempera- 
tures drop 30 de- 
grees in an hour 
and winds whip at 
?5 mpti. Devil man- 
aged to keep the tempera- 
ture stable inside by sur- 
rounding the floors and 
walls with massive 
s amounts of concrete. 
k This thermal "blan- 
m kef resists outside 

temperature fluctuations for sever- 
al weeks, 

Windmills harness the wild 
gusts, pumping water into solar- 
heated drought-protecting stor- 
age tanks. And the sun heats up 
a hollow six-foot concrete face be- 
neath an arc of windows — an old 
French idea called a Trombe 
wall. The device warms air and 
sends it Indoors through vents. 
No fuel is ever needed. 

According to Badanes, energy- 
conscious design can help 
change wasteful human habits, 
like our nation's air conditioning 
addiction. "Americans think the on- 
ly way to survive in hot climates 
is to shut themselves off from 
their environment and live in arti- 
ficially cooled houses, cars, and 
offices," laments Badanes. 

Indeed, energy efficiency has 
always been a Devil trademark. 
Even after Ronald Reagan re- 
moved Jimmy Carter's solar pan- 
els from the White House, send- 
ing energy consciousness the 
way of bell-bottoms and peace 
signs, the design firm has 
stayed true to its environmental 
roots. (Things reached such a sor- 
ry state that an insulation compa- 
ny discontinued a series of ener- 
gy awards for architects when a 
survey found they no longer con- 
sider it a priority.) With the Clin- 
ton presidency, Badanes be- 
lieves change is on the way. 
"Those solar panels are in the 
presidential basement, but I 
think they'll go back up," he 
says. Now the goal is to use re- 
newable energy sources and 
phase out the bad technologies 
that are screwing up the planet." 

During the Reagan era, Devil 
was building homes like "Airplane 
House," an aerodynamic abode 
on the snowy Colorado plain, for 
retirees on a fixed income. The 
structure fans southward from a 
narrow carport toward a two-sto- 
ry bank of windows. Sunbeams 


^Americans think the only way to survive in hot climates is to live 
in artificially cooled houses, cars, and offices.? 

Jersey Devii stays 
close to its 
projects, camping 
out In vintage 
Airstream trailers 
until every nail 
is in place— some- 
times years on 
end. Nestled into 
the Drew ot a 
ridge (op In the 
Santa Cruz 
Mountains, "HIM 
House" (bot- 
tom), lares well 
against tierce 
Pacific storm winds. 
The passive 
solar structure uses 
massive pan- 

titles ol insulating 
concrete. In 
addition, the sun 
heats up an 
innovative Trombe 
wall, a six-foot 
concrete slab, warm- 
ing air betore 
circulating if in- 
doors through 
vents. Bored with 
building private 
residences, the firm 
is now turning 
its attention to pub- 
lic spaces. This 
year, Jersey Devil 
plans to build 
needed medical clin- 
ics in Mexico 
with the help of uni- 
versity archi- 
tecture students. 

flood in, warming the space by 
soaking into the concrete floor 
and a heat-retaining wall filled 
with water. The exterior is cov- 
ered in sun-absorbing dark- 
brown corrugated asphalt. For 
hot summer days, Devil added an 
all-natural air conditioner, "cool 
tubes" — pipes that run eight feet 
underground, pulling in drafts of 
cold subterranean air. The home 
keeps heating bills well below the 
local average. 

Similarly efficient, the firm's 
"Space Age Cracker House" en- 
dures Miami's steamy 90-percent 
humidity and 90-degree temper- 
atures without air conditioning — 
and without overheating its resi- 
dents. In fact, during the six- 
month summer, they sleep with 
blankets. The trick: Window over- 
hangs provide shade from the 
sun, while the house, built to 
face prevailing southeastern breez- 
es, is wrapped in a heat-reflect- 
ing metal skin. Layers of NASA- 
designed radiant barrier foil be- 
neath the roof, however, do most 
of the work, alternately blocking 
. and releasing the sun's heat. 

Energy expense was less an is- 
sue for a Virginia couple who want- 
ed a large, informal residence. 
Christened "Hoagie House," it rep- 
resented Jersey Devil Jim Adam- 
son's chance to install an indus- 
trial-strength skylight he'd invent- 
ed and patented. Designed to 
naturally illuminate large spaces 
such as malls and warehouses, 
his .domed "Roto-lid" is wired 
with light sensors and thermom- 
eters. Readings are communicat- 
ed to a computer, which rotates 
an insulated panel within the win- 
dow according to sun position 
without leaking heat. Thanks to 
counterweights, motion is effort- 
less. Left to its own devices, the 
lid will run indefinitely. And gadg- 
ets don't stop there. The deluxe 
"home requires a 150-page own- 
er's manual for operating the mo- 

torized window shades and built- 
in vacuuming and indoor plant- 
watering systems. 

High-tech gizmos aside, Jer- 
sey Devil typically emphasizes 
more basic innovations. The 
firm's latest project in Key West, 
Florida, recycles an old building 
with simple, yet ingenious, design 
themes. Starting with two seaside 
cement structures, built by the 
Red Cross to shelter, local resi- 
dents after a 1935 hurricane, Dev- 
il added a studio, look-out tower, 
and carport with a rooftop 
Airstream trailer-turned-guest 
room. To unify this eclectic mix- 
ture, the firm surrounded the build- 
ings with a mesh metal trellis 
called a "living screen" — where 
bougainvillaea and passion fruit 
will grow,'"lt's a barrier for noise 
from the road in the back and 
pollution," Badanes says. "And 
plants add good stuff to the air: 
They give off oxygen to combat 
the carbon dioxide from cars." 

On a larger scale, Badanes be- 
lieves more plants could gener- 
ate enough "oxygen exhaust" to 
help repair holes in the ozone 
caused by the construction indus- 
try. "It's not enough to build hous- 
es that save energy when 
they're in use," he says. "Cement 
and aluminum production contrib- 
ute to global warming." 

To that end, Jersey Devil, 
hopes to shift to more basic ma- 
terials — and to more worldly shel- 
ter challenges. "I'm interested in 
techniques that will have implica- 
tions in developing countries — 
indigenous materials like earth 
and clay to replace things like con- 
crete and lumber," Badanes 
says. Later this year, the firm 
plans to build medical clinics in 
Mexico with the help of architec- 
ture students. "After twenty 
years of houses," says Badanes, 
"I'd like to build places where peo- 
ple can go without having to own 


"And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, 
ye shall receive. " — Matthew 21 :22 

Don't believe the hype. Neilher God 
nor prayer is dead in these troubled 
high-tech times, according to a study 
by the National Opinion Research 
Center based in Chicago. Headed 
by Andrew Greeley, Catholic priest 
and best-selling novelist, researchers 
measured the meaning of prayer 
among the skeptics and the faithful 
in America — 6,000 people from all seg- 
ments of the population participated. 

How often do you pray? It seems 
most of us, the study says, find time 
to pay homage to some form of Di- 
vine Intelligence, with 57 percent of 
Americans praying daily. Seventy- 
eight percent pray at least once a 
week, and only a meager 1 percent 
never pray. However, if you were 
charting the frequency of daily 
prayer on a graph, it would seem 
that America as a country became 
more religious as the world grappled 
with the terrifying Atomic Age and the 
possibility of global annihilation. Ac- 
cording to the study, people born be- 
tween 1939 and 1954 prayed less on 
a daily basis than those born be- 
tween 1955 and 1970 by a ratio of 37 percent to 44 per- 
cent, Disparities in prayer time started its decline with young- 
sters born in the early Forties and ended with the "Leave 
It to Beaver" generation of the Fifties. 

"Prayer, I suspect, comes from our knowledge that we 
are limited creatures and from our yearning to always ex- 
ist," Greeley says. "Prayer gives us the sense that we are 
in touch with the forces that run the universe. In tough 
times, it gives us a sense of serenity and peace." 

■ A startling conclusion of the study reveals that the ritu- 
al of prayer can even be found in substantial amounts 
among agnostics and atheists. Fourteen percent of those 
with no religion pray every day as do another 60 percent 
of those with an alternative religious belief. About 38 per- 
cent of those who deny a belief in life after death pray 
daily, along with another 41 percent of those who have 
serious doubts about life beyond the grave. 

It these people do not believe in God or in life after 
death, who or what are they praying to? "They may be 
praying to whom it may concern," Greeley muses wryly. 
"They may be hedging their bets — praying spontaneously, 

almost out of habit, especially in 
times of dependency when they 
have no control of life's events," 

For regular practitioners of 
prayer, marital and personal happi- 
ness are added benefits of the ritu- 
al, with the satisfaction index increas- 
ing with its frequency. The survey 
states that frequent prayer plus fre- 
quent sex equals the more marital 
happiness. Of those sampled, 72 per- 
cent who reported both regular 
prayer and abundant sex said they 
were "very happy" in their marriag- 
es as opposed to 52 percent of 
those who reported neither. Daily 
prayer, the study says, also boosts 
marital bliss for those who have sex 
more than once weekly. Alternately, 
the study also notes that "frequent 
prayer seems to be a substitute for 
frequent sex in some marriages." 

William Masters, of the noted sex- 
study team Masters and Johnson, 
agrees: "Anything that increases 
bonding improves one's sex life. Ef- 
fective sexual interaction in a com- 
mitted relationship is one of the best 
nonverbal communication tools you can imagine." 

Contrary to popular belief, those who pray often are 
more likely to oppose the death penalty and to show 
more compassion to AIDS patients, the study indicates. 
"Prayer teaches us that we are all one," says Fanny 
Erickson, a pastor at the interdenominational Riverside 
Church in New York City. "It opens us to say, 'How am I 
different from this man who is dying? It's irrelevant wheth- 
er it's an AIDS patient or an inmate on death row. All of 
us need God's forgiveness. All of us are capable of ex- 
pressing God's greatest gift — compassion." 

The Greeley study is not without its critics. "People 
want magic because they're babies," says Albert Ellis, 
guiding force behind the cognitive-behavior therapy 
school and co-author (with Robert Harper) of the best- 
selling classic, The New Guide to Rational Living. "They 
won't accept the fact that there most probably are no 
gods, no demons, no Santa Claus. People who devoutly 
believe that God will help them are in denial. They look 
outside for something to give their lives meaning." 
So the debate continues.— ROBERT FLEMING 



To a large degree, scientists 
have pieced together the 
history of life on Earth by 
studying fossils — the mineral- 
ized remains of animals and 
plants. But now, using 
space-age tools, a paleontol- 
ogist has begun what may be 
a new chapter in the study of 
early organisms: looking at 
fossil blood. 

Trying to determine how 
iQ8s' : .'zation takes place, Phil 
Wilby of the Open University 
in Milton Keynes, England, 
recently trained an ultrapow- 
erful scanning electron 
microscope on the fossilized 
remains of 100-miilion-year- 
old fish from the Chapada do 
Araripe, an an- 

ancient fish. 

northeastern Brazil. He saw 
not only the usual fossilized 
bones, but blood cells and 
epithelial cells from the 
hsices of blood vessels as 
well. Peering further, he 
discerned the membranes 
surrounding the cells and 
even mitochondria — struc- 
tures inside the cells 

"These are the most 
spectacular and best- 
preserved fossil tissues ever 
reported," Wilby exults. 
"They're the only ones I know 
of this old in which soft 
tissues like blood cells are 
preserved as well as bone." 
Because the fossilization 
apparently took place very 
quickly after the fish died, 
Wilby thinks there's a good 
posstjiiity that the cells' DNA 
might have been preserved 
during the process and 
"light sccorc-ingly he retriev- 
able for study. "I'd like to 
have a go at that," he says, 
"but I have to get the cash 
first." — Bill Lawren 

"We are here for a spoii, go! 
aii the laughs you can. " 

—Will Rogers 


Cat owners normally visit the 
vet to keep their cat healthy, 
but soon they may vaccinate 
their cat to keep themselves 
healthy as well. 

Cats are the primary host 
of the parasite Toxoplasma 
gondii. Although the parasite 
sedoir, creates problems in 
cats, its eggs can cause 
:oxoplasrnosis in humans. 
Normally a mild infection, it 
can be serious for people 

could stop cats from 
shedding the eggs. 

The vaccine, developed 
jointly by Jacob Frenkel at 
Kansas University Medical 
Center and Elmer Pfefferkorn 
of Dartmouth Medical 
School, uses a mutant, sterile 
form of the parasite to induce 
immunity in cats. Once 
immune, the cat may take on 
more parasites, but the 
vaccine will diminish the 
parasites' reproductive capa- 
bilities so that they create 
few, if any, eggs for the cat to 
shed. Since no animal 
besides the cat supports the 





with immature or suppressed 
immune systems. It is 
especially threatening to 
pregnant women, because 
the fetus can become 
infected, resulting in blind- 
ness and mental retardation. 
A cat infected with the 

nally sheds up to 
10 million eggs in its feces. 
Until now, prevention of the 
disease has depended upon 
educating people to avoid 
contact with cat litter or 
contaminated soil and to 
thoroughly cook meat from 
any animal that may have 
ingested the eggs. However, 
researchers have begun 
testing a new vaccine that 

paias'ie's reproductive cy- 
cle, vaccinating cats could 
greatly reduce the incidence 
of toxoplasmosis in humans. 

"This is an altruistic 
vaccine," Frenkel says. "We 
aren't vaccinating cats for the 
cats sake. We are doing it for 
the benefit of the people 
around them." 

The producer of the 
vaccine, Paravax of Fort 
Collins, Colorado, hopes to 
have it on the market within 
two years. 

— Marsha A. Green 

"The best armor is to keep 
out of range. " 

— Italian Proverb 


Why Sewer homers at Fenway? The 

blowin' in the wind. 


The Boston Red Sox made 
history as one of baseball's 
power-hitting teams, but 
nowadays players hit fewer 
balls out of Fenway Park. 
Don't blame the hitters, says 
Paul Lagace. Blame the 
architects, because the 
problem is aerodynamic. 
Lagace, a professor of 
aeronautics and astronautics 
at the Massachusetts Insti- 
tute of Technology and a 
self- professed Red Sox 
fanatic, recently began 
wondering why hitters no 
longer send fly balls off the 
field and into a spectator's 
lap. He had two of his 
students build a model of 
80-year-old Fenway Park and 
all buildings within 1 ,400 feet 
to the southwest— the direc- 
tion from which the wind 
usually blows. They made 
one building removable: Ihe 
four-year-old club and press 
box rising four stories behind 
home plate. Then they put 
the miniature version of 
Fenway and vicinity into a 
wind tunnel and created a 

computer model of fly-ball 
trajectories on a typical 
summer evening. 

The new club creates a 
vortex, shortening fly balls by 
8 to 12 teel, they discovered. 
Wind blowing over the club 
swirls down toward center 
field and back in toward 
home plate, Lagace ex- 
plains The dynamic vortex 
pushes balls downward, 










backwards, or both. 

To reduce the vortex, 
Lagace proposes carving 
the club's roof into a curve 
like the top of an airplane 
wing. However, it looks as 
though the Red Sox won't 
take his advice. 

"His theory could be 
right," acknowledges Rich- 
ard Bresciani, Red Sox vice 
president of public relations. 
However, he says, the Red 
Sox aren't about to make 
dramatic and expensive 
changes to the much- 
needed new building "on the 
basis of theory." 

— Teresa Tsalaky 


Someday your fast-food 
burger may be prepared by 
the fastest of all possible 
cooks; a piece of computer- 
controlled machinery. Mc- 
Donald's, the people who 
gave us the clamshell grill 
that cooks hamburgers on 
both sides simultaneously, 
has taken another step in that 
direction. The company has 
graced a number of its 
12,000 restaurants with fully 
automated systems that fry 
your fries or pour your Cokes 
without the help of Homo 
sapiens. In fact, to get you 
your soft drink, the crew 
simply punches your order 
into the register, and 
presto! — a cup is auto- 
matically filled with the 
appropriate flavor. "All 
the crew has to do," 
says McDonald's 
spokesperson Jane 
Hulbert, "is ice it." 
McDonald's engi- 
neering depart- 
ment in Oak Brook, 
Illinois, developed 
the system, known 
as automated res- 
taurant crew helper 


(ARCH). Restaurants in 
Colorado, Indiana, Minneso- 
ta, and Germany now have 
ARCH online, Hulbert says, 
and the system is "available 
to any restaurant in our 
system. It's up to the 
individual owner-operator." 

Some observers have 
voiced concern that ARCH 
may be the harbinger of a 
fully automated brave new 
Mc World that deprives teen- 
agers ol much-needed jobs. 
"Absolutely not," Hulbert 
states. Actually, she says, 
ARCH gives McDonald's 
employees "a tremendous 
opportunity to work with 
technology. The crew just 
loves it." — Bill Lawren 


3 break today, so ARCH 




That gleaming used car 
looks like a great deal, but is 

the new coat of paint hiding 
something? A Florida entre- 
preneur has devised a 
simple magnetic spring 
gauge that can help find out. 

John Pfanstiehl of Pro 
Motorcar Products in Clear- 
water calls his gizmo a Spot 
Rot Autobody Gauge, and he 
invented it after his sister got 
stuck with a particularly sour 
lemon. The gauge consists of 
a three-inch plastic tube 
containing a high-powered 
magnet, and it functions on 
the principle that layers of 
paint or camouflaged filler 
will weaken the attraction 
between the magnet and the 
steel of a car body. 

The potential buyer simply 
holds the tube by its cap and 
presses it against a suspect 
spot. If steel lies below the 
paint, the magnet will adhere 
to the car body. As the car 
shopper pulls the rot spotter 
away, the magnet remains 
attached, stretching a spring. 
When the magnet finally 
releases, a calibrated scale 
on the side of the device 
gives a reading from 1 to 10. 
A perfect 10 indicates one 
coat of paint on the car, 6 to 
9 means more than one, and 
a 5 or below means not only 
extra coats, but the possibili- 
ty of collision or corrosion 
damage concealed by filler. 

The $12.95 gadget should 
cheer the 40 million Ameri- 
30 OMNI 

cans a year who spend an 
average of $8,000 each on 
used cars. "This is a 

bargaining tool," Pfanstiehl 
says.— George Nobbe 

"The shield may be 

as important for victory as 

the sword or spear. " 

—Charles Darwin 

"The least deviation from the 
truth is multiplied later." 



Contrary to conventional 
wisdom among swimming 
coaches, it may be the length 
of the strokes a swimmer 
makes rather than their 
frequency that makes for 
record-setting times. Bi- 
omechanics professor Rich- 
ard C. Nelson of Penn State 
University's Department of 
Exercise and Sport Science 
reached his conclusion after 
analyzing miles of videotape 
in a computer-aided study of 
more than 500 swimmers 
who competed in the 19 
Summer Olympic Games. 

"Strength and hand posi- 
tions, because they affect the 
lift and drag of a swimmer, 
are also important bio- 
mechanically, but the domi- 
nant feature is stroke 
length," says Nel- 
son, who conduct- 
ed the analysis 
for the Medical Commission 
of the International Olympic 
Committee. "We found that 
the faster a swimmer 
performed, the longer his or 
her strokes were, to a 
significant degree. While the 
number of strokes performed 
by the swjmmer was about 

the same, the distance 
covered per stroke varied. 
This strongly suggests that 
training should focus on 
maximizing stroke length." 
Although swimmers can 
learn to lengthen their 



Take the physiological 
structure of a bug's feelers, 
print it on a silicon wafer, 
and coat it with gold. 
Presto! You have the 
world's smallest heat- 
seeking antenna. 

The federal engineers 
who developed the device 
imitated nature by accident: 
They only recently learned 
that a U.S. Department of 
Agriculture entomologist has 
shown that some bugs 
have similar infrared- 
detecting feelers. 

"The fascinating thing 
is the parallel between 
this being a step in the 
evolutionary chain of 
living creatures and 
i step in 
technological evolution," 
says Donald McDonald, 
who helped design the 
antenna at the National 
Institute of Standards and 

The antenna is 

3 of supercon- 

strokes, height also plays a 
key role in stroke length, 
Nelson says, noting that 
virtually all of today's 
world-class male sprinters 
stand about six feet, six 
inches lall. — George Nobbe 

provided most of the 
project's funding. It plans to 
link up 10,000 antennas in 
an array compact enough 
to ride aboard a surveil- 
lance satellite. By feeling 
heat, the antenna can find a 
ballistic missile amidst de- 
coys fired simultaneously. 
NASA also contributed 
money. It wants to use the 
array to detect atmospheric 
pollution: Greenhouse-gas 
molecules vibrate in the 
infrared spectrum, detecta- 
ble by the antenna- 
McDonald sees medical 
applications as well. An 
infrared antenna, he says, 
can detect small tempera- 
ture differences within the 
human body and translate 
them into thermal ir 
to show abnormalities 
such as cancer. 

—Teresa Tsalaky 

ducting material and 
3 just 65 mi- 
crometers wide. It works 
with a detector that 
tunes into various 
wavelengths like a 
television set. 
The Pentagon 


,'i ;.' ■ away >r, a -:iaie o! ::::^a:'J6ci animai/on. 


Ever since Aesop wrote his 
celebrated fable, the word 
"slow" has been inextricably 
linked to the turtle. Some 
2,500 years, later, scientists 
have discovered that "slow" 
applies to something besides 
a turtle's walking speed: 
Freshwater turtles can slow 
their bodies down to a state 
of suspended animation, 
enabling them to survive in 
frigid waters for three months 
without oxygen. This unique 
ability allows turtles to 
hibernate in frozen ponds 
during the winter or stay 
submerged in mud for 
prolonged periods. "They 
can exist in environments 
where other animals can't, 
which gives them a competi- 
tive edge," explains Peter 
Lutz, a marine biologist at 
Florida Atlantic University in 
Boca Raton. 

How can a turtle's brain go 

32 OMNI 

for months without oxygen, 
when other animals last only 
a matter of minutes before 
brain damage sets in? Lutz 
has identified several mecha- 
nisms. First, the turtle's brain 
slows down its body 
metabolism by 90 percent. 
Though the brain normally 
spends at least half its 
energy maintaining proper 
balances of electrically 
charged ions, a turtle can 
conserve this energy expen- 
diture by shutting down the 
channels that allow ions to 
flow into and out of brain 
cells. The turtle's body 
releases the neurotransmit- 
ters adenosine and GABA, 
which allow the brain to run 
strictly on "glycolysis" — a 
way of obtaining calories 
from glucose, the brain's fuel, 
when oxygen isn't available. 
Mammals — unlike turtles — 
have very delicate brains; 
changes occur rapidly when 
the brain stops receiving 
oxygen. "By learning more 
about how turtles cope with 

oxygen deprivation, we can 
directly enhance human 
survival," Lutz says. "Buying 
even a minute or two extra 
can give people a much 
better chance of surviving 
heart attacks and strokes." 
— Steve Nad is 




Florida hypnotherapist Mi- 
chael A. B. Stivers believes 
he's found a safe and 
effective alternative to sili- 
cone breast implants: aug- 
mentation through hypnosis. 

"1 use hypnosis to take my 
clients back to puberty, 
where they visualize their 
breasts growing again," says 
Stivers, founder and director 
of the Professional Hypnosis 
& Research Center in Largo. 
"The therapy tricks the body 
into reactivating hormone 
production so that the 
breasts increase in size." 

Stivers, who decided to 
offer the $1 ,000 in-office 
program and a new $150 
home course after reading 
about earlier studies on 
hypnosis and breast enlarge- 
ment, claims an astounding 
75-percent success rate- 
and an average bust 
increase of two to four 
inches. Once a patient's 
breasts reach the desired 
size, she must perform a 
self-hypnosis program for 
three to four months. 

"The key to success is a 
positive attitude," Stivers 
states. "Women who are 
skeptical or basically nega- 
tive tend to start slow out of 
the gate. But if they're peppy 
and positive, they usually 
take off like wildfire." 

Many in Ihe hypnotherapy 
field remain skeptical. 

"You can alter many 
functions of the body with the 
assistance of hypnosis, but in 
this case, it's questionable 
whether the change would 
have anything to do with 
stimulating hormones," says 
William Brink, executive 
director of the American 
Association of Professional 
Hypnotherapists. "And there 
is a lot of indication that this 
kind of thing is temporary. 

"It doesn't help the field of 
hypnotherapy lo be doing 
this sort of thing," Brink 
continues. "There are enough 
eyebrows raised in regard to 
hypnosis, but when you go 
using it for these purposes, it 
raises a lot more — and not 
usually in a positive manner. 
While there may be some 
validity to it, we really don't 
favor it." — Don Vaughan 

"What you don't see 

with your eyes, don't invent 

with your tongue. " 

—ihsh Proverb 

"Anything always interests 

— David Hockney 


In 1969, two Americans realized an impossible dream by 
stepping forth onto the surface of another world. The 
triumph of Apollo sei in place the technological 
capability to undertake the greatest adventure in 
history-the expansion of humanity from our home planet 
outward to the rest of the solar system and worlds 
beyond, it did not happen. Instead, the legacy of Apollo 
was abandoned, much of our space capab: vez forsaken, 
and plans for establishing lunar bases and the human 
exploraiion of Mars forgotten. 

The Space Exploration Initiative, a presidential initiative 
supported by the National Aeronautics and Space 
Administration, will return America to the courageous 
course of exploration envisioned during the Apollo era. It 
reasserts The phr.eering spirit and vision that helped build 
our country by calling for a return to the Moon - to stay - 
and for pushing onward to the human exploration of Mars. 

The Space Exploration Initiative will . . . 

. . . assure American leadership in science and technology. 

It will provide a new objective for the defense and 
aerospace industry, drive the development of multitudes of 
engineering innovations, create hundreds of thousands of 
skilled jobs in high-technology areas, and inspire untold 
numbers of students to take their education seriously and 
recognize their own potential. 

Name (Print) Adc 

increase our knowledge of the universe, the solar 
system and ourselves beyond imagination. Arrays of 
telescopes on the lunar surface will enable us to divine 
some of the greatest secrets of the universe. The 
exp oration of Mars may reveal whether life is unique to 
Earth or common in the universe, telling us something of the 
true nature of life itself. Resulting breakihroughs in physics 
and biology could radically advance the human condition. 

. . . eventually make available resources from space that 
can solve the most pressing problems we face here on 

Earth. Solar power from space, fusion reactors powered by 
Fuels found on the Moon, and useful metals found in vast 
quantities on asteroids can be used to ease the burden of 
Earth's development. 

The Earth is just one world', but our solar system contains 
dozens, and the universe at large billions. It is clear from 
one good look at a star-riddled night sky that the future will 
boorig 7.0 the society that dares to venture forth from its 
cradle Earth into the vas; comahs beyond. We owe it to our 
children and those of the future to see to it that they have 
their place among the stars. 

Therefore, we the undersigned enthusiastica y endese :he 
Space Exploralior nr.;a:ive anc u-ge Congress and the 
Administration to provide full support for all projects 
required for its implementation. 

ess Signature 

M&M °epi- OM-33 


: .IS§» ;,: . 




BEN BOVA '•;' '■ 

An orbiting 
solar-power satellite 
would provide 
clean, abundant energy. 

8 ■ ' ' " " : : '"" I ' 


spending most of its 
ime and money on a 


11 Hfll 

technological base, -which will 
improve our competitive po- 
i in the internatior 

4. It should help to i 
_ ur military industrial ' 
lent to peacetime u; 

possible, use private 













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building a solar-power satellite (SPS). 
The satellite should be large enough to 
demonstrate the feasibility of generat- 
ing electrical power in space for con- 
sumption on Earth, delivering a min- 
imum of 100 megawatts to the ground. 
It should be chiefly funded by long- 
term, low-interest government loans to 
the private companies doing the workr 

Of all the problems that face the 
United States and the entire earth as we 
approach the twenty-first century, en- 
ergy is the mosi crucial. Energy is the 
key to industrial development, transpor- 
tation, a healthy economy, and high liv- 
ing standards. Energy-rich societies flour- 
ish; energy-poor societies flounder. 

While both the industrialized and de- 
veloping nations grow increasingly de- 
pendent on Middle Eastern oil, it is be- 
coming painfully obvious that fossil fu- 
els such as petroleum pollute the atmos- 
phere and contribute to global green- 
house warming that will drastically 
change the world's climate. 

Thus, we face a crucial dilemma as 
we rush toward the twenty-first centu- 
ry: We constantly need more energy to 
stave off economic disaster, but produc- 
ing it can lead to ecological disaster. 

There are two potential replacements 
for fossil fuels: nuclear or solar energy. 
Nuclear power, once the bright hope of 
the electrical utility industry, has be- 
come unacceptably expensive and po- 
litically unpalatable. Nuclear fusion, the 
energy source of the stars, remains 
stalled in the laboratory. To date, no 
one has yet come up with a fusion ex- 
periment that produces as much ener- 
gy as it takes to run the fusion genera- 
tor. As one wag put it, "Fusion is just 
over the horizon. And you know what 
the horizon is — an imaginary line that re- 
cedes as you approach it." 

That leaves solar energy. 

Solar cells are widely used in space- 
craft: Russia's Mr space station gener- 
ates more than ten kilowatts from arrays 
of solar panels. Using solar energy for 
base-load electrical power on the 
ground is not practical. While solar 
cells work well for small, low-power 
applications, clouds and night defeat 
ground-based solar power as a replace- 
ment for today's fossil-fueled and nucle- 
ar electrical -gene rat re stations. A solar- 
power satellite, however, would orbit 
where it is virtually always in the unal- 
tered sunlight of space. 

The SPS would generate electricity 
from sunlight in space and beam that 
energy to receiving stations on Earth. 
The transmission beam should operate 
at microwave frequency, although 
some thought has also been given to 
using laser beams. 
. Solar-power satellites would generate 

enormous amounts of electrical power: 
thousands of megawatts delivered to 
the ground. Consequently, the satellites 
would be big. Studies done in the ear- 
ly 1970s envisioned structures of up to 
15 miles long, larger than Manhattan Is- 
land, designed to send ten gigawalts 
of electrical power to Earth. Ten giga- 
watts would provide all the electrical 
power needed by the state of Connect- 
icut or New York City. 

Antenna farms receiving the micro- 
wave transmission beam would be 
placed in remote, unpopulated areas. 
White Sands-Proving Ground, New Mexi- 
co, or another desert site could house 
the first receiving station. Ultimately, an- 
tenna farms could float on platforms off- 
shore from major coastal cities. 

While the idea of building such a 
huge structure in space might sound far- 
fetched, there are no fundamental tech- 
nical reasons why an SPS couldn't be 
built. The necessary contributing tech- 
nologies are all well known, There are 
no "showstoppers," although the pro- 
gram would represent a mammoth de- 
velopment effort, comparable to the Apol- 
lo lunar-landing project of the 1960s. 

Like Apollo, the program should gen- 
erate excitement and support among 
the public. The ability to generate mas- 
sive amounts of electrical power in 
space is an obvious benefit to ihe gen- 
eral public. Delivering power cleanly 
should please environmentalists — al- 
though they would undoubtedly have 
concerns at first about beaming micro- 
wave energy through the atmosphere. 

The microwave beam, however, 
would be so diffuse that birds could fly 
through it without harm; at its edge, its 
power density would be 50 times lower 
than that of a kitchen-model microwave 
oven with its door closed. The satellite 
designers would tune the frequency 
used to the "window" in the atmosphere 
where there would be little interference 
with the microwaves. Even in rain- 
storms, the energy could reach the 
ground efficiently with only a 1 to 3 per- 
cent energy loss. 

Building an SPS would involve four 
key technologies: solar cells, microwave 
generators and converters, space 
launchers, and space construction — 
the techniques for building very large 
structures in orbit. 

The United States is one of the 
world's leaders in rocket launchers and 
space construction techniques, al- 
though Russia boasts the current heavy- 
weight champion among rocket boost- 
ers. Its Energia can lift on the order of 
75 tons into low Earth orbit. 

And while U.S. astronauts have prac- 
ticed some space construction tech- 
niques during shuttle missions in prep- 



Once upon a time, people didn't know 
much about spaceflight. The mysteries of 
(he Space Race were lett to "rocket sci- 
entists" and TV commentators. Crazy ide- 
as abounded: Some people thought the 



popularizer and a friend of many NA- 
SA tour guides, public opinion is mold- 
ed — and national space-policy deci- 
sions made — by superficial impressions 
gained from oversimplified headlines, 
newscast sound bites, decades-old 
faulty analogies, and science-fiction 
script writers and producers. 

As the old Appalachian Mountains 
proverb goes, "It ain't what you don't 
know thai makes you look like a fool; it's 
what you do know that ain't so." Sadly, 
the out-of-this-world subject of space- 
flight provides continuing proof of this 
warning's wisdom. 

On national television a few years 
■ago, I referred to this wise proverb to 
discreetly call a U.S. congressman a 
fool. He spouted nonsense about an en- 
dangered Soviet manned space mis- 
sion that bore so little relation to the 
truth that it would have taken me sev- 
eral minutes to unravel it all. The Sovi- 
et capsule was crashing to Earth, he 
was certain. A retired general sitting 
next to him agreed: "They're dead 
men," he intoned gravely. 

But there was no real cause for 
alarm, as any spaceflight expert could 
have told them. "They've got tricks 
they haven't yet had to try," I reassured 
he audience, explaining what had gone 
wrong and the cautious way the cos- 
monauts seemed to be working their 
way out of their predicament. "I'd bet 
the farm they'll be safely back on Earth 
in the next two hours." And they were. 

Plenty of "obvious" spaceflight mis- 
perceptions can lead to more than hu- 
mor — they can lead to bad decisions. 
Two examples from the New York 
Times — one, 73 years ago; the other, 
last year — show how little real prog- 
ress has been made. 

On January 13, 1920, an anonymous 
editorial-page writer mocked Robert 
Goddard for suggesting that a rocket 
could someday reach the moon. "That 
Professor Goddard, with his 'chair' in 
Clark College, and the countenancing 
of the Smithsonian Institution, does not 
know the relation of action to reaction 
and of the need to have something bet- 
ter than a vacuum against which to re- 
ad — to say that would be absurd. Of 
course, he only seems to lack the knowl- 
edge ladled out daily in high schools." 
The Times went on to cite "the same mis- 
take" in Jules Verne's description of fir- 
ing a rocket to adjust the course of a 
manned moonship: "The Frenchman, 
having got his travelers to the moon in 
a desperate fix of riding a satellite of a 
satellite, saved them from circling it for- 
ever by means of an explosion, rocket 
fashion, where it would not have had in 
the slightest degree the effect of releas- 
ing them from their dreadful slavery." 


Such ignorant criticisms of Goddard's 
work scared off many supporters for ten 
years until Charles Lindbergh coura- 
geously laid his own prestige on the 
line to boost Goddard's. 

Almost 50 years later, after two 
manned lunar expeditions had already 
used a pure-Vernesian rocket maneu- 
ver to escape trom lunar orbit and re- 
turn to Earth, the Apollo 11 moon-land- 
ing expedition was launched. In a spe- 
cial section of the newspaper, the 
Times printed a small box titled "A Cor- 
rection." In it, the original Goddard crit- 
icism was quoted and retracted: "Fur- 
ther investigation and experimentation 
have confirmed Isaac Newton in the sev- 
enteenth century and it is now definite- 
ly established that a rocket can func- 
tion in a vacuum as well as in the at- 
mosphere. The Times regrets the error." 

We should avoid smug feelings of 
modern self-righteousness, however, 

still exists in space. 

It keeps 
satellites from flying 


off into interstellar 


What's missing is weight,? 

while contemporary misconceptions 
about space physics continue to ap- 
pear on the newspaper's editorial 
page (and, of course, elsewhere). In 
1992, a commentary oh the NASA 
plan for a permanent space station did 
allow that there might be one advan- 
tage, owing to the absence of gravity 
on a s'pace station. 

The myth that satellites remain in or- 
bit because they have "escaped 
Earth's gravity" is perpetuated further 
(and falsely) by almost universal use of 
the zingy but physically nonsensical 
phrase "zero gravity" (and its tech- 
weenie cousin, "microgravity") to de- 
scribe the free-falling conditions aboard 
orbiting space vehicles. Of course, 
this isn't true; gravity still exists in 
space. II keeps satellites from flying 
straight off into interstellar emptiness. 
What's missing is "weight," the resist- 
ance of gravitational attraction by an an- 
chored structure or a counterforce. 
Satellites stay in space because of 
their tremendous horizontal speed, 
..which allows them — while being unavoid- 

ably pulled toward Earth by gravity — 
to fall "over the horizon." The ground's 
curved withdrawal along the Earth's 
round surface offsets the satellites' fall 
toward the ground. Speed, not position 
or lack of gravity, keeps satellites up, 
and the failure to understand this fun- 
damental concept means that many oth- 
er things people "know" just ain't so. 

No-gravity myth #1: One terrifying but 
dying myth is that satellites with nucle- 
ar weapons or spy cameras can hover 
over particular ground targets such as 
Washington, DC. That's easy if there's 
no gravity in space, but it's impossible 
in ihe real world except at a precise dis- 
tance over the equator (the so-called 
geostationary orbits). 

No-gravity myth #2: For those fas- 
cinated by the possibilities of "war in 
space," Earihside analogies have 
been stretched beyond the breaking 
point, The oft-repeated idea of "shoot- 
ing down a satellite" tails into that cat- 
egory, because a satellite struck by a 
weapon would retain its speed and 
hence would stay in orbit, dead or alive, 
whole or in pieces. 

No-gravity myth #3: II the notorious 
clouds of "space junk" stay up there be- 
cause the fragments float around aim- 
lessly, why can't we send up a shuttle 
or two and pick up all the trash as it 
goes by? But when you realize that 
each piece of junk flies through space 
at tremendous speeds in different loca- 
tions and directions, the "obvious so- 
lution" evaporates, 

No-gravity myth #4: Another tipofl 
that someone possesses an inadequate 
understanding of space physics is if 
they ever use the phrase "falling into the 
sun." For example, some people seem 
to believe that if nuclear waste can be 
thrown across the nonexistent "gravity 
boundary" between the earth and out- 
er space, it will fall harmlessly into the 
sun. While disposing of dangerous 
wastes in space is not entirely a hare- 
brained scheme, serious analysts real- 
ize that all probes launched away irom 
Earth enter orbit around the sun with the 
earth's own forward speed, which is 
more than adequate to prevent them 
■from falling into the sun. It's far easier 
to push the junk outward to interstellar 
space 3.7 billion miles away (if you're 
patient) than to push it into the sun 93 
million miles away. 

Out to Launch 

Ask anyone today where Columbus or 
the Mayflower sailed from, and the like- 
ly answer is that they don't know and 
it's not important anyway, because 
their destination held greater signifi- 
cance. But ask anyone where the Apol- 
o expeditions took off or from where the 



Arthur C. 
Clarke, Stanley 
Kubrick, and 
MGM made the 
most realistic 
of all science- 
fiction films. 

Two million 
years ago: 
A tribe of primi- 
tive ape-men 
struggle for 
survival in a 
harsh, barren 

Without warn- 
ings A tall 
black slab ap- 
pears. It is 
utterly alien. 
It exerts 
a mysterious 

In one of 
our ancient 
The first 
of crude 

Weapons are 
born: Bone 
cudgels or 
nuclear space- 
ships— it's 
all the same. 
Our history 
spans but a 


of cosmic time. 

The close of 
the twentieth 
century: A 
black slab is 
on the moon. 
estimate its 
age at . . . 
2 million 
years. Touched 
by the sun 
for the first 
time in eons, 
this "Mono- 
lith" screeches 
a powerful 
radio signal 
into space and 
then falls 
silent forever. 

Onboard space- 
ship Discovery 
bound lor 
Jupiter: A 
human crew 
unaware of the 
signal, and 
HAL, a self- 
aware comput- 
er, who knows 
the truth. 

Bone cudgels 
turning on 
their masters: 
To protect its 
mission, HAL 
murders all but 
one of Discov- 
ery's crew. 
Dave Bowman 
must murder 
HAL. Humanity 
is regained— 
by violence. 

fn Jupiter 
orbit: Bowman 

passing through 
a dazzling 
vortex of twist- 
ed time 
and space, 
only to 
emerge— [j ' 

In a hotel 
room: ',\ J., 

Where he fe - 
lives out 
the rest of his 
mortal life 
in moments. A 
begins. . . . 

The moment 
of death: Bow- 
man reborn 
as Starchild. 






The astral 
voyager's re- 
turn: The blue 
planet Earth. 

Until Stanley 
£ Kubrick came 
1 along and 
;' rewrote Hie 
r rules, SF films 

fell for the 
.most part into 
the B-movie 
Cheap plywood 
rockets shud- 
dered across 
sets glued to- 
gether out of 

■ old egg car- 
f tons, and 

j brave space 
n heroes strode 

■ boldly with 
.goldfish bowls 
I over their 


But in 1961, Russia launched into orbit Yuri Gagarin: a 
genuine spaceman in a real rocket. President John R Ken- 
nedy responded with verve: "I believe that this nation 
should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this dec- 
ade is out, of landing a man on the moon. . . ." 

All of a sudden, that of Buck Rogers stuff became a very 
serious concern. Spaceflight now rode high on the agenda 
for politicians, generals, and taxpayers. Clean-cut young Ameri- 
cans were being strapped into complicated capsules and 
then blasted into the sky atop giant pillars of flame. 

The Moon Race was on. 

It was time for Hollywood to take more of an interest in 
space. This was the stuff that dreams were made of. 

At this critical and exciting time, a highly talented filmmaker 
approached the MGM Studio with an idea. 

In the spring of 1964, New York-born movie maker 
Stanley Kubrick had just scored a big hit with Doctor Strange- 
love, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the 
Bomb, a brilliant spoof of the Cold War. 

As is Hollywdbd's way, a director who scores a smash hit 
gets to write his own ticket — for onB more movie at least. 
Kubrick told his potential backers at MGM that he intended 
his next project to be the best and most realistic space mov- 
ie ever made. The film would look at our future out among 
the stars, portraying a contact with an alien civilization. 
Kubrick planned to spend two years and $6 million of MGM's 
precious time and money. 

MGM was keen on the idea in principle but alarmed at 
the costs and time scales Kubrick had in mind. Six million 
dollars was a huge sum of money ^ .... . back the 
But an ancient Hollywood rule 
applied: If MGM didn't 
give hotshot Stan- — - 
ley what he wanted, somebody 

else probably would. An agreement was struck. MGM's 
chief executive Robert O'Brien authorized funding, at consider- 
able risk to his own motion-picture career. 

In reality, Kubrick's film took four years to make, not two, 
and it swallowed up nearly $11 million, not six. O'Brien 
spent those years fending off hostile critics in his own com- 
pany as time dragged on and Kubrick's budget climbed. And 
when at last, at the end of March 1968. the MGM bosses 
finally got to see what they'd put their money into — 2001: A 
Space Odyssey— they couldn't figure out if they were look- 
ing at the biggest disaster in MGM's history or at one of the 
greatest movies ever made. 

In April 1964, Kubrick had written to SF maestro Arthur C. 
Clarke in Ceylon, stating that he wanted to make "the pro- 
verbial Good Science-Fiction Movie." This deeply intelligent 
filmmaker had been brooding on Ihe subject of extraterrestrial 
life for some years. Way back in 1956, British movie critic 
Alexander Walker found Kubrick restlessly sifting through Jap- 
anese schlock space movies, checking out the current 
state of special effects. Arthur Clarke found himself tempt- 
ed out of his tropical island retreat and into the maelstrom 
of New York — "an exciting city, but the charm wore off after 
about fifteen minutes." Kubrick and Clarke first met on April 
22, 1964. and talked for eight solid hours about space, as- 
tronomy, and alien life. A few weeks later, they signed an 
agreement to collaborate. 

Thus, two greatly talented egos entered into a collabora- 
tion, working sometimes in accord, sometimes in remorse- 
less intellectual combat. ("Every time I get through a ses- 
sion with Stanley, I have to go lie down," Clarke noted.) A 
. brilliant, if occasionally unstable, 

(left) and 
Stanley Kubrick 
(inset, right) 
conspired to 
less than a 
revolution: an 
accurate, if 
speculative and 
projection of 
future in space. 
The degree 
of technical 
detail incorpo- 
rated in the 
spacecraft and 

partnership was forged. There would be times ahead when 
Clarke would find himself wishing he were anywhere other 
than in the same world as Stanley Kubrick; yet the two men 
also liked and respected each other tremendously, right 
from the start. 

Clarke agreed to write a novel, with plenty of input from 
Kubrick. Only when that was complete would they do the 
drudge work of turning it into a movie script. Clarke figured 
on tidying away the writing in a year or so. Despite his world- 
wide reputation as a science-fiction seer, Clarke had no idea 
he'd still be polishing the manuscript three years later. 

Kubrick, putting his legendary perfectionism into literary 
practice, insisted on endless rewrites. Nor was the typewrit- 
er his only target: In the summer of 1965, the fully assem- 
bled production crew moved into the MGM studios at Bore ham- 
wood, North London. Now it was the Art Department's turn 
to "do it right, do it better, then do it all over again," until 
their director's baleful, dark-eyed gaze turned into a curt nod 
of approval. 

Bearing the brunt of this was Tony Masters, chief produc- 
tion designer — a talented man, ideally suited to the massive 
task of organization ahead of him. But Kubrick was deter- 
mined to find additional experts capable of conjuring up 
thoroughly realistic spaceships. After an introduction 
from Clarke, German-born Harry Lange came on board, 
fresh from visualizing advanced concepts for NASA. 
"Good designers are two a penny," Kubrick told a , 
somewhat startled Lange. "But designers who A 
know about spacecraft systems? Now, that's a i 
combination I can use." 

Lange was joined by his friend Frederick Ordway, 
who provided scientific consultancy .... _ ~~ - 

for the movie. Ordway was ^^^jL " ~~'~ --,._ 
a skilled PR man -:..™ : — ^ajjSH^^ff: 

gear depicted 
on these 
and the preced- 
ing pages 
had no prece- 
dent in film, 
and still has no 
equal. The 
looked like 
they would real- 
ly work. Nor 
did 2001 's 
ambiguous ali- 
en Monolith 

evolve from 
als. Every- 
thing about the 
film broke 
new ground. 
300 1 : A Spate 
Odyssey is 
about ideas, as 
is much of the 
best literary 
science fiction, 
and as such 
has retained 
much of its 
power to 
move, provoke, 
inspire. Iron- 
ically, perhaps. 

with impressive academic credentials, and he persuaded doz- 
ens of major industries to assist in putting 2001 together 
Boeing, Grumman, Honeywell, and IBM were just some of 
the big corporations who helped out. (Although IBM wasn't 
too happy when HAL started disconnecting his end-users.) 
The final version of the movie's giant interplanetary vehi- 
cle was detailed to an unprecedented degree. The "minia- 
ture" -ended up 54 feet in length Before Star Wars, before 
Alien, the good ship Discovery was the most impressive space- 
craft ever put on screen. She still looks convincing today, a 
quarter of a century after she was first assembled over a pe- 
riod of eight months by dozens of model makers. 

For the interior of the ship, Kubrick sought a means of de- 
picting artificial gravity The result was the incredible "cen- 
trifuge" set, a spinning drum about 40 feet in diameter, com- 
plete with lights, consoles, and working fixtures. Including 
all the support struts and scaffolding, the whole thing 
weighed more than 30 tons! The idea behind the centrifuge 
was simple enough: Actors moved along the treadmill like 
hamsters in an exercise wheel with Kubrick's clever photog- 
raphy strengthening the illusion. Actors Keir Dullea and Gary 
Lockwood appeared to walk right around the walls. 

For scenes outside the ship, stuntmen were squeezed 
into spacesuits and then suspended upside down from the 
\ roof of the studio. They had nothing to hold onto, relying 
\ on thin steel wires to keep them from crashing to the 
V floor 40 feet below. 
^ Interior cockpit sets glittered with advanced color- 
v display screens, which was pretty remarkable bear- 
V ing in mind that computer graphics hardly ex- 
isted in those days. A young special- 
8H«ftSfer--- effects expert, Douglas 

r this 

"ultimate Six- 
ties' movie" 
remains as 
relevant to 
as when it was 
first released. 
2001 contin- 
ues to attract 
large televi- 
sion audiences, 
prompt often 
heated debate, 
delight the 
eye, provoke 
the mind. 
Who could ask 
more of a film? 

Trumbull, spent many months animat- 
ing these displays on Him, ready for 
back-projecting into the control panels. 

Trumbull was in his early twenties. 
"Doug had Kubrick's greatest respect, 
though he was just a baby! K3 worked 
very hard and very creatively. He was 
a driven young man," a colleague re- 
calls. Many technicians and creative tal- 
ents have been worn to dust by 
Kubrick's brilliance, by his insistence on 
the very highest standards. A perfec- 
tionist himself, Trumbull stood the 
pace well, creating among multiple oth- 
er effects the unforgettable "Stargate" 
sequence for the film's climax. 

Several other advances in cinema 
technology were developed specifical- 
ly for the movie, including a massive 
front-projection system for the ape- 
man scenes. (This one, too, harked 
back to science fiction: One of its de- 
velopers was an inventor named Will Jen- 
kins — who wrote science fiction under 
the name of Murray Leinster.) All those 
African landscapes were filmed entire- 
ly inside a London studio. Kubrick, ev- 
er on the lookout for trouble ("if it can 
go wrong, it will") decided to avoid the 
problems of going on location 

Contrary to expectations, though, it 
was old-fashioned techniques which 
Kubrick favored for the principal opti- 

cal effects so as to maintain absolute 
control over quality. Hand-painted "trav- 
eling mattes" kept teams "of young art 
students busy for months. Kubrick was 
right: Their painstaking work set new 
standards of cinematic excellence. 

But before so much as one frame of 
film could be exposed, the preproduc- 
tion for this complex movie required a " 
whole year of set designing, building, 
model making, and so forth. Live action 
photography was then completed in 
about eight months. It took an addition- 
al two years to wrap up the special ef- 
fects and editing. 

The result? One of the most beauti- 
ful movies ever seen. A marathon cre- 
ative effort that paid off on screen. 

Ah, but . . . looks can be deceptive. 
Beauty may be only skin-deep. What 
about the script? Did that look like four 
years' worth of work? Shortly after 
those puzzled MGM execs had seen 
the first cut of the movie, an equally un- 
certain bunch of critics stumbled out of 
the Washington premier on April 2. 
Many of them were stunned, angry, and 
confused. The movie looked great, 
they all agreed about that. But where 
was the story? What had Kubrick done 
with the plot? 

The answer is that he had thrown it 
all away — deliberately. He went through 

the script, slicing al the dialogue until, 
in nearly three hours of movie, barely 
thirty minutes' worth of talk remained. 
Kubrick was determined to hit his au- 
dience with strong visual imagery and 
let their own imaginations fill jn the gaps. 

This may well have been one of the 
reasons why he delayed publication of 
the completed novel for some weeks af- 
ter the movie's release, much to 
Clarke's frustration. (Actuary, sheer pres- 
sure of overwork was probably the ma- 
jor factor. And it all worked out in the 
end: "Stanley and i are laughing all the 
way to the bank.") 

Critics often find that thinking for them- 
selves is too much like work: Initial crit- 
ical reaction was often hostile. "Dull, 
pretentious, almost hypnotically boring," 
the naysayers proclaimed. 

But other voices'acclaimed 2001 as 
"one of the greatest and most import- 
ant movies ever made." 

The movie had "something to say," 
and as it turned out, there were plenty 
of people willing to listen. 

Clarke had provided a framework of 
childlike wonder, of travel to the far plan- 
ets and meetings with benevolent crea- 
tures from another world. He had rede- 
fined the possibilities of mystical ex- 
perience for a jaded era. But Kubrick 
flavored this hopeful scenario with a 

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discomforting reminder that such adven- 
tures could cost us more than we bar- 
gained for. The triumph of our intellect, 
he seemed to say, might actually cost 
us our humanity itself, 

Kubrick's cynicism about modern con- 
dition— his ghastly spacemen with 
their chilling lack of communication — 
stood in contrast to the chatty, fussy gen- 
ius of HAL 9000, a computer consider- 
ably more human than his zombified 
masters. Though his voice was as 
calm and level as a wine steward's at 
an expensive restaurant, HAL carried 
within him all the ambitions and frailties 
which his flesh-and-blood companions 
seemed to have abandoned. 

Kubrick rounded off this ambiguous 
parable of our future with one of cine- 
ma's most extraordinary images of 
hope and wonder — the Starchild at the 
film's end turning its gentle, wide-eyed 
gaze directly on the audience. 

All this was rather too much for crit- 
ics expecting a traditional sci-fi adven- 
ture. MGM was very nervous until pub- 
lic reaction began to escalate, slowly 
but surely. Minds changed As one rue- 
ful reviewer admitted, "Everybody 
hates 2001 except people." 

The movie slipped safely into the big- 
grossing category. Safe for the movie, 
that is. MGM was hugely in debt. By 

1969, their proud, roaring lion was de- 
fenseless, against corporate poachers. 
2001 was one of the old-style studio's 
last significant achievements. 

Mor was MGM the only big studio in 
crisis as the turbulent 1960s drew to a 
close. Wall Street bankers were no long- 
er so eager to accommodate their 
West Coast cousins. All Hollywood was • 
in trouble as television chewed remorse- 
lessly into its markets. And all America 
was in trouble as Vietnam came in 
from the wings at last and took center 
stage. There wasn't an audience in the 
land who enjoyed that show. 

2001: A Space Odyssey tells as 
much about the era in which it was 
made as it does about the future. 
Kubrick's philosophical exploration was 
colored in, so to speak, by the industri- 
al expertise of a great nation at the 
height of its powers. By the time it was 
released, the United States was no long- 
er quite so sure of itself — or, indeed, of 
its desire to build cities on the moon by 
the year 2000. The war in Southeast 
Asia burned up vast quantities of tax- 
payers' money. Spaceflight no longer 
seemed important, the lunar landings 
coming across as repetitive to a non- 
scientific audience. (TV viewers com- 
plained when moon bulletins interrupted 
their favorite comedy slots.) 

The young hippies who so appreci- 
ated 200 Vs dazzling images were in a 
less receptive mood a year or so later. 
Too many of their friends were on the 
run from the draft, or else they were com- 
ing home in body bags. The Summer 
of Love had chilled into winter. (And the 
1970s oil crisis, the space-shuttle dis- 
aster, and Chernobyl were just around 
the historical corner.) 

Tucked away deep in suburban 
North London, isolated like some phi- 
losopher-king in his vast palace of op- 
tical splendors, Stanley Kubrick generat- 
ed a vision of the future that was al- 
ready being made redundant by cur- 
rent events, even as his cameras rolled. 
Outside the studio, the world turned, the 
world changed. Kubrick ignored it and 
quietly got on with what he was doing. 

2001 is an intensely personal work of 
art. Very few filmmakers can command 
such massive budgets without equally 
massive interference from their backers. 
Kubrick is the exception. MGM may 
have thought they were paying- for a rou- 
tine space yarn; what they got was one 
man's obsessively detailed multimillion- 
dollar waking dream of humankind's 
evolutionary destiny. 

Even Arthur Clarke — no blushing vi- 
olet himself when it comes to speculat- 
ing about the universe — well, even he 
could only surrender to Kubrick's indom- 
itable, all-embracing will: "There's a 
wrong way to do things, a right way, 
and there's Stanley's way." 

Today, 2001 stands as the epitome 
of SF filmmaking. Though history has 
dented its slightly naive technological 
optimism, it still represents a dazzling 
manifesto for our future in space. Ad- 
mittedly, the prospect of launching a 
ship like Discovery awaits a more dis- 
tant decade than this one, but Arthur 
Clarke has pointed out that a half-cen- 
tury delay in our plans is neither here 
nor there in the Big Scheme of things. 

2001. A Space Odyssey still looks sur- 
prisingly fresh in 1993: It's not just 
about spaceships, about how we will 
get into space; it's also about why. 
That remains an important issue for our 
generation and for generations to 
come. The movie prompts us into ques- 
tioning our place in the cosmos: it chal- 
lenges us to go up there and investi- 
gate. If we fail to take up that adven- 
ture, then our humanity may very well 
be doomed to extinction after all. 

Arthur C. Clarke commented in 1968: 
"I don't pretend that we have the an- 
swers, but the questions are certainly 
worth thinking about." 

Stanley Kubrick in 1968: "If 2001 has 
stirred your emotions, your subcon- 
scious, your mythological yearnings, 
then it has succeeded." DO 

|magme a weird 

and wonderful dinosaur, 
built hulkingly like a 
lumbering brontosaur but 
with a huge double row 
of spines down its neck. 
Until late in 1991, such a 
strange creature was 
known only in nightmares. 
And until the accompanying 
painting in Omni by artist 
Brian Franczak, it had never 
been painted. 

Now this odd monster 
has been dug up, cleaned, 
mounted, and named — 
Amargasaurus (reptile from 
Amarga) — thanks to the 
pioneering efforts of one of 
the world's great dinosaur 
hunters, Jose Bonaparte. In 
the last three decades, 
Bonaparte, who is hardly 
known outside his native 
Argentina, has dug up a 
host of bizarre dinosaurs 
with tongue-tying names — 
Carnotaurus, a giant preda- 
tor with midget arms; 
Antarctosaurus giganteus, 
at 50 tons perhaps the 
heaviest of all dinosaurs; 
Herrerasaurus, a vicious 
ten-foot hunter and the 
earliest dinosaur yet known 
at 225 million years old. 

But if it's dinosaurs you 
want, Argentina is the place 
to go. No country, with the 






possible exception of China 
and the United States, hosts 
such a broad sampling of 
dinosaurs across the length 
of their 165-million-year 
reign. And it is Bonaparte 
who is chiefly responsible 
for closing the yawning gap 
in our knowledge of South 
American animals over 150 
million years. "Almost 
singlehandedly he's respon- 
sible for Argentina becom- 
ing the sixth country in the 
world in kinds of dinosaurs," 
says University of Pennsyl- 
vania dinosaur paleontolo- 
gist Peter Dodson. "The 
United States is still first, but 
Bonaparte's shown that 
Argentina is so rich in 
dinosaurs from so many 
time periods that it may yet 
top us one day." 

Bonaparte's discoveries 
paint a portrait of evolution 
gone its own strange way 
for millions of years on an 
isolated continent. His 
dinosaur finds are all the 
more astounding, even to 
Bonaparte's most accom- 
plished colleagues, for 
Bonaparte claims no formal 
training in paleontology and 
no particular interest in 
dinosaurs. Bonaparte 

doesn't even 

the part of the intrepid fossil 
explorer. Distinguished, six- 
tyish, he is a man of modest 
proportions. His large glass- 
es and thinning pate, 
polished manners,- neat 
attire, and scholarly par- 
lance lend him the air of an 
academic, which he is, by 
practice if not training, ten 
months a year. 

While North America's 
leading dinosaur research- 
ers are television celebrities 
and globe-trotting lecturers, 
Bonaparte and his discover- 
ies are barely recognized, 
even in Argentina, a" country 
where dinosaur mania has 
never struck. Yet to his 
celebrated American counter- 
parts, like Bob Bakker, 

"the Master of the Mes- 
ozoic" as Bakker dubbed 
him. "We couldn't know 
anything about South Ameri- 
ca's dinosaurs without him," 
adds dinosaur encylopedist 
George Olshevsky. "His 
discoveries are fantastic. 
On a scale of one to ten of 
how strange a dinosaur 
could be, with a ten being 
the first dinosaur with 
wings, some of Bonaparte's 
finds are a nine," says 

is the word Bonaparte 
himself uses, often, to 
characterize his life. Though 
he's the senior scientist at 
the Argentine National 
Museum of Natural Scienc- 
es in Buenos Aires, his 
office is a basement 
cubicle. But modest is 
not the word all would use 
to describe the man. To 
his students and col- 
leagues, Bonaparte is a 
stubborn, old-fashioned 
worker, difficult to work 
under and out of touch with 
current science. 

"He has a strong-man 
idea of field-camp organiza- 
tion, a strong personality, 
sometimes a stern manner," 
says University of Chicago 
paleontologist Paul Sereno, 
who dug with Bonaparte in 
Argentina. Now that their 
master is away in Germany 
on a year's sabbatical, 
Bonaparte's Argentine stu- 
dents complain of a harsh 
and mercurial taskmaster. 
"Yes, I can be tough, I 
suppose," Bonaparte says, 
"but I work hard." Indeed, 
Bonaparte is a 16-hour-a- 
day, six -day- a- week work- 
aholic. "He is incessantly in 
pursuit of fossils," says 

Bonaparte began 

chasing fossils, and 
finding them, half a century 
ago. Descended trom an 
Italian sailor based in New 
York, Bonaparte grew up in 
the small river city of 
Mercedes, 60 miles from 
Buenos Aires. When he was 
16, a retired fossil collector 
showed him fossils and 
Bonaparte was hooked. In 
the halls of his house he 
began piling fossils he 
found in nearby rivers. 
When his house was full, he 
helped to create a museum 
in the town, leaving to 
curate the collections of the 
University of Tucuman, and 
by the late 1970s, to 
manage fossils for the 
National Museum of Natural 
Sciences in Buenos Aires. 
But it's a desolate place 
like the Valley of the Moon 
in northwestern Argentina 
where Bonaparte and his 
dinosaurs are likely to be 
found, anytime from Sep- 
tember to April. The 
conditions are harsh, the 
equipment primitive. Bona- 
parte and Sereno drove a 
rickety Renault with a 
broken fuel pump during 
their dig in the Valley of the 
Moon in 1988. An assistant 
had to perch on the roof 
much of the ride, dangling 

the fuel line. Bonaparte is 
accustomed to sleeping 
outdoors or in the sheep- 
shearing room of remote 
estanzias, the vast Argen- 
tine ranches. He explored 
Argentina's Patagonian 
mountains on horseback, at 
least until he was turned 
back by fierce summer 
snow squalls. 

Bonaparte's digs have 
met with phenomenal 
success, from the earliest 
dinosaurs to the peculiar 
titan, Amargasaurus. 
In the ironstone of the 
desolate Valley of the Moon, 
Sereno and Bonaparte's 
students found hundreds of 
fossils. Their haul featured 
the beautifully preserved 
skull of Herrerasaurus, a 
primitive 5- to 15-foot-long 
predator with a huge 
double-hinged jaw. 

Finding spectacular dino- 
saurs in the Valley of the 
Moon is nothing new for 
Bonaparte. He'd been 
several limes since the late 
1950s and found, in 
sediments some 215 million 
years old, some prosauro- 
pods — the plant-eating an- 
cestors of the giant 
sauropods like Brontosau- 
rus. The biggest of these 
prosauropods Bonaparte 

named Riojasaurus, a plant 
eater perhaps 36 feet long 
who lumbered on four solid- 
bone legs. From the same 
environment, he found the 
skull and jaws of a slender 
bipedal prosauropod he 
called Coloradisaurus. 

Some of Bonaparte's 
best finds have been tiny. 
From the southeast of 
Argentina he uncovered the 
first nest of dinosaurs from 
the earliest dinosaur period, 
the Triassic, 245 to 208 
million years before the 
present (B.R). Full-grown, 
these prosauropods 
stretched to ten feet long. 
But the skeletons of what 
Bonaparte found were so 
small, he could cup them in 
his palms — hence their 
name, Mussaurus or 
"mouse lizard." A decade 
later, in southern Argentina, 
Bonaparte found the first 
known collection of South 
American dinosaurs from 
the middle era of dinosaurs, 
the Jurassic Period (190 to 
135 million years B.R)— a 
primitive 14-foot-long hunter 
he named Piatnitzkysaurus, 
and junior versions of giant 
plant eaters. 

Stranger still'are the 
dinosaurs Bonaparte's 
found from the last dinosaur 







period, the Cretaceous (135 
to 65 million years B.R). 
Noasaurus (northwestern Ar- 
gentina lizard), codiscov- 
ered with Jaime Powell, is a 
little predator less than eight 
feet long. It sported terrible 
claws as sharp as that of its 
North American late-Creta- 
ceous contemporary "killer 
claw," Deinonychus. 

But Bonaparte has found 
weirder hunters yet. In 
1985, a Patagonian rancher 
told local geologists, who 
informed Bonaparte, of 
parts of a dinosaur foot and 
tail he had seen protruding 
from a cliff side in badlands. 
Bonaparte went to inspect, 
and soon to dig, reluctantly. 
"It was in very hard rock. It 
was a very big headache to 
get out," he says. With 
hammer and long stick, 
Bonaparte separated fossil 
from matrix. By wheelbar- 
row he hauled away the 
nearly complete skull and 
much of the body of. a huge 
and very odd dinosaur from 
the cliff. He named it 
Carnotaurus— "the meal- 
ing bull." 
Some 25 feet long, 
Carnotaurus was 
nearly as imposing as its 
North American coun- 
terparts, Albertosaurus 
and Tyrannosaurus rex. But 
in many details, Carnotau- 
rus was nothing like them. 
The skull was blocky, short, 
and high. Large horns 
extended menacingly from 
above the eyes. The arms 
were far shorter even than 
T. rex's, but the legs were 
proportionately longer and 
slimmer. "It's very strange," 
says Bakker admiringly. 
And Olshevsky says, 
"With its peculiarly 
shortened face and tiny 
arms, it's at least a 
definite nine on the 
ten-point weird- «, 

dinosaur scale." 

Perhaps the strang- 
est feature of all on 
Carnotaurus was its 
fingers. Wriile North Amert 

can killer dinosaurs had 
long previously dropped 
from four fingers to three, 
and by the end of dinosaur 
time to just two on T. rex, 
Carnotaurus had a four- 
fingered hand. 

Another odd, big preda- 
tor Bonaparte and F. Novas 
found, Abelisaurus, was 
equally peculiar to South 
America. In North America, 
the brontosaurlike sauro- 
pods, the biggest creatures 
ever to walk the earth, seem 
to have disappeared by the 
early Cretaceous Period to 
he replaced by duck-billed 
dinosaurs and their kin. 

But in South America, 
one family of giant browsers 
seems to have prospered 
right to the end of dinosaur 
days. Titanosaurus ("giant 
lizards") is the largest family 
of dinosaurs, known from 
Africa, India, China, and 
Europe in the Cretaceous 
Period. Bulky and lumber- 
ing, it browsed on all fours. 
However, not all titanosaurs 
were truly titanic in size — 
they appear to have ranged 
from 30 to 70 feet long in 
adulthood. To the amaze- 
ment of his colleagues, 
Bonaparte has struck again, 
finding some of the biggest 


and the oddest titanosaurs. 

The biggest of Bona- 
parte's titanosaur finds, 
Antarctosaurus giganteus, 
may have been the heaviest 
dinosaur of them all. Thick 
back bones five feet high 
suggest an animal of 50 
tons spread over a body 
nearly 100 feet long. The 
weirdest is the newly named 
Amargasaurus, "just" 30 
feet long and adorned with 
a double row of enormously 
lengthened' spines atop its 
back bones. 

Bonaparte also uncov- 
ered the first known 
armored titanosaur, Saltasau- 
rus, a 40-foot long leviathan 
who sported two types of 
armor— large oval plates 
splashed across the skin 
and a crowded layer of 
round or pointed bony studs 
on its back and flanks. 
Bonaparte has dug other 
titanosaurs, some fully 
armored, others patchily 
shielded with grapefruit- 
sized skin plates he calls 
"ossified leather." And he's 
found titanosaurs with giz- 
zard stones the size of 
tennis balls used to grind 
their half-digested food. 

Why did South American 
dinosaurs become so pecu- 
liar? "I think it's behavior 
that motivates these evolu- 
tionary changes," says Phil 
Currie, dinosaur paleontolo- 
gist at the Royal Tyrrell 
Museum in Alberta, Cana- 
da. "Dinosaurs relied on 
visual clues for their 
behavior, and a distinctive 
appearance is a pretty clear 
clue," he says. To Bonaparte, 
what's more interesting than 
each odd dinosaur he's 

found and named is what 

. they tell us about 
evolution in South 
America. One glance 
■ at the queer spinal 
^p mane of Amargasau- 

**ft'rus shows that South 
J American dinosaurs de- 

■ toured sharply in their 
own evolutionary direc- 
' tion. The cause of the 








detour, as Bonaparte 
has theorized, is the' 
physical and genetic isola- 
tion of South American 
dinosaurs from their North 
American cousins. 

According to Bonaparte, 
and to earlier theorists of 
how continents formed, the 
world was one land, 
Pangaea, in early dinosaur 
days. Dinosaurs were much 
the same worldwide, and 
prosauropods like those 
Bonaparte found in South 
America are known from 
around the world. But some 
200 million years ago, the 
world split in two — a 
southern half, Gondwana, 
and the northern, Laurasia. 
Even before the super- 
continent broke up, the 
southern half appears to 
have had its own distinctive 
plant life — conifers, cycads, 
ginkgoes, and ferns. 

Bonaparte and others 
found evidence of a 
dinosaur community pecu- 
liar to the bottom of the 
world that would have 
occurred not long after this 
supercontinent split. It was 
Bonaparte who documented 
this isolation —armored, long- 
spined giant browsers; 
short-armed, hunters; 

and several 
endemic forms of 
crocodiles, birds, and mam- 
mals, all absent from the 
northern continent. In isola- 
tion until nearly the end of 
dinosaur days, these ani- 
mals not only persisted, 
they prospered. 

Why did the titanosaurs 
reign only in southern 
reaches? The evolution of 
armor may help explain the ' 
success of the titanosaurs 
over other plant-eating 
dinosaurs in South America. 
Or, as Bonaparte says, 
"perhaps it was the climate 
that was different in South 
America and not to the 
duck-bill's liking." Indeed, 
climatological studies indi- 
cate South America may 
have been Wetter than the 

northern continent. 

It wasn't their armor that 
made titanosaurs so dura- 
ble in the Southern Hemis- 
phere. "Compared to an 
ankylosaur, titanosaur ar- 
mor wasn't much good 
against a predator;" says 
Currie, an expert on 
predatory dinosaurs. But to 
those who puzzle over how 
a huge animal could have 
thrived, with a brain the size 
of a lemon, Bonaparte says, 
"the relation of brain size to 
intelligence is a difficult 
thing to understand. Hum- 
mingbirds learn a great deal 
of their behavior, yet their 
brain is very small." 

And what of the peculiar 
South American predators? 
Different as the horned face 
of Camotaurus and the 
hook-nosed countenance of 
Abelisaurus might appear, 
the animals are united in 
several significant features, 
such as their bulldog faces, 
which distinguish them from 
their North American coun- 
terparts. Even the Dei- 
nonychus look-alike Noasau- 
rus is only superficially like 
its North American cousin. 
Noasaurus's killer claw is 
powered from an entirely 
different connection in the 
foot and hand. "Noasau- 
rus's muscles come out of a 
pit, Deinonychus's from a 
knob," says Currie. "They're 
two completely different 
evolutionary solutions to the 
same problem —how to get 
more surface to attach a 
more powerful muscle." 

At the very end of 
dinosaur days, North Amer- 
ica and South America were 
reunited as they are today. 
And so Bonaparte finds 
duck-bills as far south as 
Patagonia, just as dinosaur 
diggers in Utah have found 
a titanosaur of a genus that 
presumably worked its way 
north from South America. 

Since relatively few peo- 
ple have had access to 
Bonaparte's scientific publi- 
cations, his theories on the 

evolution of dinosaurs are 
not wellknown. And Bona- 
parte's communication with 
fellow scientists has been 
limited by his resistance 
to modern metho'ds of 
grouping organisms. Most 
paleontologists now sub- 
scribe with varying degrees 
of dogmatism to cladistics, 
a recent system for 
organizing living things by 
their significant shared 
characteristics without re- 
gard to when the animals 
evolved. Bonaparte is a 
traditionalist. He organizes 
animals by when they arose 
and the more subjective 
assessment of their most 
striking differences. 

Bonaparte's opposition to 
cladistics led him to decline 
to participate in The 
Dinosaur/a, the definitive 
scientific text on dinosaurs 
and a 1990 scientific effort 
to redefine dinosaur re- 
lationships. Says Peter 
Dodson, an editor of the 
text, "Bonaparte always did 
things the tried-and-true 
way and wasn't about to be 
pressured to change." 

Bonaparte really doesn't 
care that his dinosaur work 
isn't known abroad or 
applauded at home. Given 
his druthers, he says he'd 
rather be working on mam- 
mals. Perhaps his favorite of 
all finds are minuscule 
fragments tweezed from the 
same ground where he's 
found giant bones of had- 
rosaurs and titanosaurs in 
northern Patagonia. They 
are the molar and other 
teeth of a new kind of mam- 
mal {Gondwanatherium). 
Bonaparte points with glee 
to three tiny lobes on the 
molar, a feature so peculiar 
that he can think of "nothing 
like it among fossils and 
living fishes, amphibians, 
reptiles, or birds." But it's 
Bonaparte's curse — and dino- 
saur devotees' delight — that 
the Master of the Mesozoic 
just can't stop finding 
strange dinosaurs. DO 


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"You'll like this," said Schaeffer as he 
lei Brovnik into the apartment. "She was 
a photographer." 

Brovnik chuckled unhappily til! the 
smell hit him; it fit right in with the buzz- 
ing of flies. The other cops' hard shoes 
clapped on the uncarpeted boards of 
the hall; their voices echoed in the clut- 
tered flat. Brovnik walked slowly, as if 
in a sweltering museum. Dozens of un- 
mounted photographs were thumb- 
tacked to the walls, curled by the July 
humidity. Schaeffer went into the bath- 
room with everyone else. Brovnik 
wasn't in any hurry to learn the cause 
of the splashing he heard. He bent 
close to a picture of a white girl stand- 
ing against a canvas tent, her head 
thrown back, arms spread wide, the 
hilt of a sword and part of the blade pok- 
ing out of her gullet. The other pictures 
were just as freakish. He liked them. 

"Come on, Bravo!" 

He walked into the small tiled bath- 
room. Too many cops in it, and a hu- 
mid jungle reek, tainted with carrion. Wa- 
ter dripped from the mirror. 

"Give him some room, guys." 

The body slumped in the tub, most- 
ly submerged, short-cropped thick 
brown hair matted on the surface like 
seagrass exposed at low tide. She was 
fully dressed. One arm floated, 

propped on a knee, the hand looking 
swollen ^and peeled. The water was 
murky pink. Streamers of red, like 
those little crepe-paper flowers you get 
in Chinatown; drop a clamshell in wa- 
ter so it slowly opens and a tissue flow- 
er unfurls. The room was too small and 
muggy. He clutched his camera grate- 
fully to his face, confining vision to one 
small window on a distorted tunnel 
with suicide at the far end. Her other 
arm hung over one side of the tub, 
skin sucked in between the tendons. He 
nearly stepped in blood as he walked 
around to get a better angle. It was 
tacky, two days old, kept from harden- 
ing by humidity. 

When he finished, the others came 
back in. He stood in the living room, 
smoking, agitated. Why? Because she 
was a photographer? He looked over 
more of the woman's prints. Dwarfs, gi- 
ants, freaks, a man covered with tat- 
toos. Wonder what kind of mind she'd 
had, to take pictures like this. 

A few photos lay spread out on the 
couch, as if she'd been looking them 
over while the water was running. He 
didn't want to disturb them, but the one 
on top disturbed him. The last thing 
she'd seen? A picture of Death stand- 
ing-^ a freshly mown field; Death as a 
woman in a Halloween skull, clutching 


a white sheet around her. Hell, she'd 
gone rattling around with a head full of 
death, hunting it with her camera. He 
couldn't understand a mind like that. 
With his job, it was different. He was a 
cop first, a photographer second, 
though fhese days he didn't do 'much 
of anything but photography and lab 

Schaeffer came up next to him, point- 
ing at a picture of a shirtless Latin midg- 
et in a hat sitting on a bed with a bottle 
on the nightstand next to him. Schaef- 
fer nudged him. 

"What do you think, she slept with 
that dwarf to get his picture?" 

"You're sick," Brovnik said. 

"Me? She's the one in the bath." 

"Bravo, hey," came a call from the 
bathroom. "You drop something in 

He walked back toward the bath- 
room, trying to see no more of the inte- 
rior than he had to. Morrissey came out 
with a crumpled yellow foil film packet. 

'"Messy, messy," he said.' 

"Fuck you, Morrissey. I'm shooting 
35— that's a 120 wrapper." 

"Where'd you pick that up from?" 
Schaeffer said. 

Morrissey suddenly looked pale and 
stupid. "It was under the tub. I — I re- 
member right where." 

"You fucking idiot." Schaeffer 
raised a hand as if to strike him. "She 
was a photographer, too." 

Morrissey scurried backward into the 
bathroom, Schaeffer right behind him. 
Brovnik looked around the room at all 
the prints; most were square, two-and- 
a-quarter format, would have been 
shot on 120 roll film. Nice big negatives, 
real sharp. He had this little Pentax, 
light and quick, good enough for police 
work though it always felt too small in 
his hands. 

He looked around the room for her 
camera while Schaeffer bawled out Mor- 
rissey, and finally found it in an open 
case behind the couch. He shivered 
when he saw she had a Pentax too. 

How did rumors get started? How did 
they leak? Brovnik could never figure 
those things out. On the strength of a 
foil wrapper, the tabloids were claiming 
that the lady had somehow managed 
to photograph her own suicide. The 
press had called all day asking if the 
police planned to release the photo- 
graphs. Denying their existence didn't 
help. If the department said it didn't 
have the photographs, the reporters 
asked who did. Who'd been in her apart- 
ment to take the shots? Did they have 
any leads? 

Leads on a suicide? He had to laugh. 

Brovnik was surprised that there had 

been any interest at all in the woman's 
death. He'd never thought of photog- 
raphy as "art." But apparently she was 
"known," and all this was just making 
her knowner. He wondered if she'd ev- 
er have guessed that sliding into a 
warm bath and opening her wrists 
would prove to be such a canny career 
move. Whatever her reasons, she 
hadn't wanted to flub the attempt; 
what was left of her blood had been 
rich in barbiturates. 

Reading the papers, he learned a 
few things himself. Her name was — 
had been — Diane Arbus. She'd had a 
few shows, some critical success, 
■ though mainly she'd made her living as 
a fashion photographer. Hard to imag- 
ine how a mind like hers would portray 
glamorous models . . . wrap them in fu- 
neral shrouds, black veils? 

In the lab, he looked over his own pho- 
tographs with a more critical eye. The 
glaring flash had burned out the water 
in most of the shots, hiding the lines of 
her sunken body; hard to avoid that. He 
remembered how harsh the flash ef- 
fects had been in her photographs. De- 
liberate? It must have been. She'd 
worked to get an effect like the one he 
came up with accidentally. That made 
him feel better about his pictures. She 
might've liked police work. Her interest 
in freaks and death and all that 
crap . . . reality. It would've been 
more than just a job to her. And how 
happy he'd be photographing gor- 
geous models all day instead of blood- 
baths, car crashes, double homicides. 
God, give him an opportunity like thai 
and he wouldn't waste it on dwarves. 

Seeing things afresh, he felt inspired 
to go through some of his backfiles. Tor- 
so murders, decapitations, stabbings, 
mob killings. Not half bad, most of 
them. Hekind of liked the grainy effects, 
the harsh lighting thai senl deep shad- 
ows sprawling like duplicate corpses. 
Weegee had gotten famous with pic- 
tures-like these. Not too surprising, re- 
ally. People fed on. this stuff. Consider 
the popularity of public executions. 

A secretary opened the door and 
told him there was a call for him. No 
name. She put it through to the lab 

"Good evening, Inspector Brovnik. I 
understand you took some photographs 
ol Diane Arbus in her bath." A woman's 
voice, small, raspy and hoarse. "I won- 
der il you'd be interested in a trade." 

"Who is this?" 

"Just a friend." 

"Whose friend?" 

"I took Ihe other set." 
. Brovnik didn't speak for a moment. 

"Are you still there, Inspector? Or get- 
ting this call traced?" 

62 OMNI 

"That was your 120 wrapper?" 

"I photographed Diane's suicide. 
Twelve frames. The whole thing. Every- 
thing except the aftermath, really, and 
you took those. I'd like good copies 
if I can get them, to make my set 

"And what about your set? Do I get 
a look at those?" 

"As I said, we could arrange a 

"You know, the investigation on a su- 
icide is fairly straightforward. You tell- 
ing me that someone else was involved, 
suddenly things start to look more com- 
plicated. You're asking for trouble." 

"She killed herself, Inspector Brovnik. 
She didn't have an accomplice." 

"What about you? You stood back 
and snapped off a dozen shots while 
your so-called friend bled to death?" 

"Understand, she didn't want her 
death to be for nothing. She wanted 

6The tabloids 
were claiming that the lady 

had managed to 

photograph her own suicide. 

The press 

had called ali day asking 

if the police 

would release the photos, 9 

those pictures taken." 

"And what'd she think she would do 
with them?" 

"I can't answer that." 

"Look, I can't make this kind of deal, 
Miss — " 

"You don't need my name. And if you 
involve anyone else, then you won't 
hear from me again. I got in touch with 
you because you're a photographer. I 
thought there might be some under- 
standing between us." 


"Consider that I'm Diane's agent in 
this matter, Inspector. There has to be 
an element of trust. As an artist, you 
should be able to make the necessary 
intuitive leap." 

"Who said I was an artist?" 

"You photographed Diane in death. 
Your eye has been changed . . 
touched. I'm very interested in seeing 
your work." 

"This is crazy." 

"All right,. so you need to think about 
it. I'll get back to you soon. I don't care 
■who knows about the pictures once 

we've made our trade, but until then, 
you must act alone or it's all off. I'm ea- 
ger for those pictures but I won't risk ex- 
posure. Diane wouldn't want that." 

"How can you be so sure what she'd 
want? I mean, look what she wanted for 

"She was very hard on herself. Good- 
bye, Inspector." 


But she didn't wait. After that, he had 
to live with his impatience for another 

He didn't mention the call to anyone, 
contrary to his plans. He printed a du- 
plicate set of the suicide photos, tak- 
ing more care in the darkroom than ev- 
er before. He managed to burn some 
detail into the glare of flash on the 
bath water, enough so that he could 
see one of her hands with the fingers 
gently splayed beneath the surface, as 
if bathed in mercury. He worked long 
past his regular hours. Her curled 
prints were always tacked up in his mem- 
ory, examples of an ideal he'd never 
known to strive for until now. He found 
himself working to extract subtle quali- 
ties of mood and tone from the nega- 
tives, fluttering his fingers beneath the 
enlarger lens, controlling contrast with 
split-bath developers — things he'd nev- 
er bothered with before, except when 
making bad negatives into acceptable 
prints. Gradually he found the glossy 
bright snaps of death becoming utterly 
strange to him, unlike his other photo- 
graphs which became more common- 
place as he worked them over. These 
were beautiful, like paintings done in sil- 
ver; morbid but alive in the way only pho- 
tographs are alive. Finally he stood 
back from his handiwork and shook his 
head in disbelief, because he had made 
her poor drowned corpse immortal. 

It was an awful responsibility. That 
night, late, the phone rang and he 
came awake to the reek of sulfur. It was 
on his hands and made his eyes sting 
when he wiped away tears. What had 
he been dreaming? ^ 

"It's me," said the raspy little voice, 
and that was when he realized why it 
sounded so odd. It was a dwarf voice; 
gruff with age and tribulation, not 
squeaky but still small. This was one of 
Arbus's weird women. 

"So it is," he said. "But it's the mid- 
dle of the night." 

"I thought you'd be more likely to 
come alone that way." 

"What, now?" 

"Have you got a pencil?" 

He thought of telling her he didn't 
have the prints with him, but he found 
himself grabbing a pen and pad in- 
stead. He wrote down an address and 
agreed to meet her in half an hour. He 

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was backing his car out of the driveway 
when he came fully awake and won- 
dered what the fuck he was -doing. Was 
this police procedure? He decided 
this didn't have anything to do with the 
department. This was for the sake of 
something else — call it moonlighting. 
like his work in the darkroom. He had 
to have something in his life besides a 
job, didn't he? Like Arbus, who'd shot 
models for a living and in her spare 
time went looking for freaks. Maybe she 
needed that, after overdosing on glam- 
our all day. Maybe in his case, after the. 
brutal repetitive ugliness of his day-to- 
day — dead junkies and hold-up victims 
who were a bit too slow for low) with the 
cash — he needed something a little fan- 
tastic, something beautiful, like that sil- 
ver glow he'd glimpsed on the surface 
of Arbus's bath, like the first rays of a 
silver sun about to rise, a hint of immi- 
nent revelation. He saw clues to that 
light hanging over the marble crypts of 
Brooklyn which spread away beneath 
him as he took the bridge; it was more 
explicit on the waters of the East River, 
increasingly lovely and plentiful as 
crushed jewels scattered over the 
black tombs of the Manhattan skyline. 
Then he drove down into the tunnel 
where the glare of fluorescents rubbed 
his eyes raw, dispelling all magic ex- 

cept for the sense of nurnin evil evoked 
by the sight of so much seeping green- 
ish tile lining the tunnel walls. In his 
mind, water continued to drip from a mir- 
ror long after blood had ceased drip- 
ping from her dangling arm. 

The address the dwarf gave him 
wasn't really an address. There were 
buildings on either side of it, in an al- 
ley, but the number itself did not exist. 
All he saw was a low wail of old brick 
topped by a spiked wrought-iron 
fence; an iron gate opened in the 
midst of it. Might have been a vacant 
lot behind that wall, anything. Shattered 
windows looked down from three 
sides, as if the rendezvous were noth- 
ing but the bottom of an airshaft 
choked with trash, cas toffs. Not official 
business, no, but he was glad for his 
.38 '-and flashlight as he pushed 
through the gate into a cemetery. 

He'd never seen the place before, 
not in years of patrolling the city on 
foot and in cars. He must have driven 
past — even down— this alley a hundred 
times and never noticed the wall and 
gate. As expected, it was full of trash; 
the old marble and granite headstones 
were shattered, chpped, vandalized, dis- 
colored. His shoes crunched through a 
fine covering of broken glass; it was 
like walking on the Coney Island 

shore, even down to the smell of urine. 
He flicked his flashlight over carved an- 
gels with brutalized faces and seared 
wings. Stubs of crosses with the arms 
snapped off appeared to give the fin- 
ger to the living. Every beam he aimed 
into the tumble of graves sent off a hun- 
dred harsh new shadows. He couldn't 
be sure where he'd looked and where 
he hadn't. 

He wiped off the lid of a relatively 
clean crypt and settled down to wait. 
With the flashlight off, his eyes adjust- 
ed quickly to the dark. His cigarette 
made the only human movement. So 
where was she? A dwarf could sneak 
around in here easier than a full-grown 
woman — but it would be hard to come 
soundlessly in all this glass. He laid the 
envelope of prints on the stone beside 
him and smoked three cigarettes before 
a shadow came out of nowhere. He 
jumped down from his seat and instant- 
ly lost sight of her among the stones. 

"Who's there?" he said. 

She came forward again. "No 
names, Inspector. Of course, I already 
know yours." 

As he'd guessed, she was small as 
a child, her face a gray blur of blend- 
ed shadows. He knew she wouldn'l ap- 
preciate any light leaping on her. 

Her hand darted out to the tomb- 

Somalia's Cry 


One of the placards on the wall tells us the basic, stag- 
gering facts: Since 1960, when Somalia became 
independent, clan-based civil war has magnified "the 
tragic dimensions of the recent drought" in that country, leav- 
ing "more than 300,000 dead, another 1 million in peril." 

But facts alone, however staggering, rarely move people 
to action. For that, a photographer, a journalist, has to bring 
feelings to the viewer, not just facts — people, not just corps- 
es. And that is what the photographers represented in 
Somalia's Cry: A LIFE Exhibition of Photographs have done. 
To be sure, there are a small number of photographs 
which show us the dead scattered on the earth in appalling 
numbers and variety and condition, wrapped with awful iro- 

ny in empty burlap food bags. But we've grown sadly inured 
to sights of the anonymous dead in photographs, television 
news, and popular films. And the dead are beyond need, 
beyond our help. It is the living, especially the painfully or 
barely living, who concern us and whose plight cries out so 
wrenchingly from almost every image in this exhibit. 

The 25 photojoumalists (representing ten nations) whose 
works are displayed in Somalia's Cry have answered a diffi- 
cult, dual challenge: To make us see how exceptional, how 
far beyond our own hardships and sufferings, are the lives 
of the people of Somalia, and yet, at the same time, to 
make us feel that their subjects are people very much like 
us. And they have succeeded; they've made the Somalis' 

images of starvation, violence, ^.ifjering. 
and courage from the moving 
photographic exhibition, Somalia's Cry: 
A LIFE Exhibition of PhoLograph-, 

which helped to inspire donations c 
finally, armed US. intervention, 
for the famine-plagued East Africa 
. "I'-wemy-five noted 

pih.'Uiiimphen and their photo agencies 
from around ihe world joined 
together with rerwtrkahic -\peed. to organ- 
ise this visual res 

experience our experience for the time that we. view these 
photographs — and for a haunting time afterwards. 

The most successful photographs do this by bringing us 
into the middle of loving, impossibly tormented relationships 
among these people so that we can know something of 
what it would be like to be torn by our loved ones' suffering 
and yet be helpless to do anything about it. And that, in 
turn, makes us feel that we are the ones who can and must 
do something to relieve the horrible suffering in front of us. 
One of the most moving and painfully inspiring photographs 
in this exhibit shows us, in greater-than-life size and in 
closeup, a very young girl, almost skeletal from starvation, 
crouched in a dusty road, with huge, horribly pleasing 

eyes, lugging at the hem of her brother's garment. Because 
we don't see her brother, we become her brother, and it is 
intolerable that we should have no answer, no help for her. 

These photographers have found the details that twist us: 
the mere twigs that suffice as weapons for the guards !o 
keep the starving in line; the motion, both tender and absent- 
minded, with which a woman, starving and in despair, 
strokes the forehead of her dying husband while their baby 
nurses at her shrunken breast; the improvised leys made 
from empty food tins with which young boys play games even 
as they starve to death. 

The organizers of this show, David Friend, LIFE magazine's 
director of photography, and Aaron Schindler ot Photo Per- 

Somalia's Cry 

Photographs like of suffering and 

death in Somalia illustrate ihe truth 

of this statement by Andrew Holbroolw. 

whose photographs are included 

in the exhibit: "Photography can give' 

voice to die voiceless." 

spectives have also met their challenge: to limit the number 
of these powerful photographs so that we are not over- 
whelmed or exhausted or habituated by their horrors, and 
yet to tell a whole story, to bring us the experience of these 
tortured lives, not just a series of shocking images. The cu- 
rators have chosen just three or four photographs of each 
of various aspects of life in Somalia and have given these 
images a living context. When we see the image of a young 
girl who panics because the food cenfer's stores have run 
out just before she could reach the head of the line, we 
have some understanding of her anguish, because we 
have seen the starving walking hundreds of miles to reach 
a food center and the sick or exhausted dying in the roads 
on the way to help, we have seen the armed bandits who 
steal half the donated food and medicine before it leaves 
the docks and the children and the elderly losing blood or 
limbs or their lives to the gunmen's bullets, and we have 
seen the half-shrouded corpse of a child seated in a wheel 
barrow marked CONCERN as volunteers with mournful 
eyes dig the child's grave. 

Having seen all of this, we find it hard to do nothing to 
help these people, especially when the photographers and 
curators also show us the courage of Ihose for whom these 
things are life, not news. They show us not only the brave 
parents and children and elderly of Somalia, but also the volun- 
teers — the doctors, nurses, all the relief workers — who, in or- 

66 OMNI 

der to try to help their fellow human beings, have put their 
own lives in danger out of no necessity except that of con- 
science and spirit. 

When photographer Robert Frank was asked about his 
professional goals and hopes, he said, "When I first looked 
at Walker Evans' photographs, I thought of something 
Malraux wrote: 'To transform destiny into awareness.' One 
is embarrassed to want so much for oneself, but, how else 
are you going to justify your failure and your effort?" When 
Somalia's Cry was first displayed at the United Nations (the 
exhibit, sponsored by Time Warner and the U. N., is currently 
louring the country), its participants stated that their purpose 
was to bear witness to the tragedy, to make the global com- 
munity aware of the profound sulfering occurring in Somalia, 
and to raise funds for the relief effort. The photo presentation 
has accomplished all of this and more. Recently, the exhibit 
was cited by U.N. Secretary-General Boutrous Boutrous- 
Ghali as a major factor in helping to mobilize public opinion 
in favor of intervention in Somalia. 

Somalia's Cry has given us not only an art of composition 
and timing and informalion, but of empathy and compas- 
sion and moral urging. As Africa continues to suffer these 
apocalyptic agonies of drought and war, we will need abun- 
dant supplies of the latter qualities as much as of foodstuffs 
and medicines. The men and women responsible for this 
show have made their contribution DO 

my life is like a 
James Joyce 
scratch pad," declares 
Terence McKenna. "I have 
a lot of fun, a kind of 
reverse paranoia. I ihink 
reality is a plot for my own 
amusement and advance- 
ment — which it seems to 
be. It's absolutely eerie." 
Ethnobotanist, radical his- 
torian, and co-steward of a 
botanical garden in Hawaii 
where he collects endan- 
gered plant species and 
their lore, McKenna is, as 
well, a world-class psyche- 
delic researcher. 

In the Sixties, it was not 
uncommon for friends or 
colleagues to leave for 
awhile, then return. These 
travelers, however, had 
not made round trips to 
such identifiable exotic 
stops as Tibet or China, or 
even Mexico. Rather, they 
had tripped on acid or 
mushrooms: new territory. 
Upon reentry they would 
be asked the usual 
questions one asks a 
traveler: "What did you 
see? Who did you meet? 
How long were you 
gone?" And they'd show 
their slides, as it were. 

In those years, taking 
psychedelic drugs was 
viewed as self-experimenta- 
tion. One's goal was 
informational— to learn and 
explore. And taking drugs 
carried an unstated man- 
date: It was incumbent 
upon you to contribute to 
the unofficial databank — 
report the efficacy of 
various doses, the effect 
of varying settings, elapsed 
duration, potential uses, 
and so forth. It was not 
uncommon to ask, "Why 
did you take it?" — truly a 
statement of inquiry. Ter- 
ence McKenna comes 
from this tradition. 

Born in 1946 in western 
Colorado, McKenna 
moved to Los Altos, 


California, when he was in 
high school. He graduated 
from the University of 
California at Berkeley with 
a major in shamanism and 
the conservation of natural 
resources. Collecting Asian' 
art in the East, for years he 
also made his living as a 
professional butterfly col- 
lector. In his 1992 book 
Food of the Gods, 
McKenna delineates a 
radical hisiony of drugs 
and human evolution, 
chronicling our descent 
from ' s-.o-.e-z aces sr.c 
extolling the virtues of 
psilocybin mushrooms and 
DMT (dimethyltryptarnine), 
a potent psychedelic 
compound. Eve achieves 
top billing in our collective 
history as "the mistress of 
magical plants." 

Heralded by some as 
the "New Scientist," McKen- 
na admits that "defenders 
of orthodox science find 
me a pain." When he was 
younger, this so bothered 
him that he sought the 
counsel of Gunther Stent, 
the pioneering Swedish 
genetic biochemist. McKen- 
na sat in front of his hero 
and earnestly laid out his 
research, theories, and 
ideas of science. "What I 
am interested to know is," 
McKenna concluded, "are 
these ideas fallacious?" 
Rising from behind his 
desk, Stent crossed the 
room, placed his hands on 
McKenna's shoulders, and 
delivered the following: 
"My dear young friend, 
they aren't even fal- 
lacious!" Although 
crushed and shattered by 
the encounter, McKenna 
persevered to become a 
high-voltage speaker, store- 
house of remarkable in- 
formation, and prolific 
writer of worldwide repute. 

Before this interview, 
McKenna offered Iriend 
and interrogator Sukie Mil- 




ler tie following tip: "Being able to 
pun, sing, or riddle will usually get you 
through fairy checkpoints. To deal with 
real fairies is to enter a realm of rid- 
dles and puzzle settings where what 
'they punish is stupidity and what 
they love is intellectual cleverness." 
(Editor's note: Sukie Miller, Ph.D., is a 
practicing psychotherapist in New 
York City, a former director of Esalen, 
and the Director of the Death and Dy- 
ing II Project.) 

Omni: You've been called a prophet, 
madman, the most important visionary 
scholar in America, a bard of our 
psychedelic birthright, and more. How 
did you grow up? Was there some- 
thing in the water at your house? 
McKenna: I was born in a Colorado cat- 
tle and coal-mining town of 1 ,500 peo- 
ple called Paonia. They wanted to 
name it Peony but didn't know how to 
spell it. In your last year of high 
school, you got your girlfriend preg- 
nant, married her, and went to work 
in the coal mines. An intellectual was 
someone who read Time. My mother 
went to secretarial school and had a 
very large vocabulary. She was aware 
of classical music and writing and was 
my grandfather's favorite daughter. 

His metier was language. He fre- 
quently used the phrase "the fustileri- 
an fizgigs from Zimmerman!" I recon- 
structed it. It means "a shrewish fish- 
wife from a town named Zimmerman." 
Whenever he got excited, he'd yell, 
'"Great God!' said the woodcock 
when the hawk struck him." A nut, a 
poet is what he was. 
Omni: How early in your life were you 
into altered states? 
McKenna: Until I was three, we lived 
in my grandfather's house. I've had 
regression-hallucinations where I see 
myself in my child body playing with my trains alone in 
that living room. Then something catches my attention 
and I turn and look: A DMT hallucination is pouring out 
of the air, into this house, into the room. This is not sup- 
posed to be happening. This is not permitted! It was as 
if an invisible teapot were beginning to pour some heavy, 
colored liquid swimming with objects and shapes, a flow- 
ering geometry. It was as if reality got broken, like a win- 
dow could get broken, and the outside — poured 

"To bring people to' the poten- 
tial and accessibility 

of a huge, unsuspecting dimen- 
sion of authentic ex- 
perience that is of ourselves." 

Food for the Gods: The 
Search for the Original Tree of 

Knowledge: A Radical 
History of Plants. Drugs, and Hu- 
man Evolution (Bantam) 


The ego, "a maladaptive 

behavioral complex 

that gets going like a tumor." 

WTO £M©^U$'»EI 

"Not everybody. Those should 

be free to pursue 
the drug whose interest or re- 
search leads them 
there. They should not have to 
genuflect to a 
Galvinist government." 

through the teapot — came rushing in. 
I go to find my mother to show her. 
Then, of course, it's not there. 
Omni: And now? Toward what end is 
your research directed? 
McKenna: I can't stomach the human 
tragedy of somebody going to the 
grave ignorant of what is possible. I 
make the analogy to sex. Few people 
can avoid some kind of experience 
with sex— sex informs the experience 
of humanness; sex is a great joy and 
travail. I don't like to think about some- 
one going to the grave without ever 
having contacted it. This work is that 
big. It's ours. It makes available an en- 
tire domain of being that somehow got 
lost, to our detriment. 
Omni: What is DMT's effect? 
McKenna: My best guess is that it me- 
diates attention so that when you 
hear a noise coming from someplace 
within your peripheral vision, you turn 
and focus on what the noise might be. 
Somehow this vqry rapid focusing of 
mental functioning is driven by DMT 
It is also a Schedule I drug. So tech- 
nically, we are all bustible all the 
time! The paradox is that DMT is the 
safest and quickest hallucinogen to 
leave your system — safest, that is, in 
terms of any accumulated detriment 
to the organism. 

Omni: Food of the Gods relates DMT 
to psilocybin, What's the connection? 
McKenna: Psilocybin and DMT are 
chemically near relatives. My book is 
about the history of drugs; it tries to 
show drugs' cultural and personality- 
shaping impact. People have attempt- 
ed — unsuccessfully — to answer the 
question of how our minds and con- 
sciousness evolved from the ape. 
They've tried all kinds of things to ac- 
count for this evolution, but to my 
mind, the key unlocking this great mystery is the pres- 
ence of psychoactive plants in the diet of early man. 
Omni: What led you to this startling conclusion? 
McKenna: Orthodox evolutionary theory tells us that 
small adaptive advantages eventually become geneti- 
cally scripted into a species. The species builds upon 
this minute change to further its adaptive advantage un- 
til ultimately it outbreeds all of its competitors for a par- 

licult:r niche or environment. 

Omni: So prehistoric humans 
got a leg up on the apes by 
ingesting a drug? 
McKenna: Yes. Lab work 
shows that psilocybin eaten in 
amounts so small that it can't be 
detected, as an experience, in- 
creases visual acuity. In the Six- 
ties, Roland Fisher at the Nation- 
al Institute ot Mental Health 
gave graduate students psilo- 
cybin and then a battery oi eye 
tests, His results indicated that 
edges were visually detected 
. more readily if a bit of psilocybin 
was present in the student's 
body. Well, edge detection is ex- 
actly what hunting animals in 
the grassland environments use 
to observe distant prey! So 
here you have this chemical fac- 
tor, when added to the diet, it 
results in greater success in hunt- 
ing. That, in turn, results in great- 
er success in child rearing and 
so increases the size of the 
next generation. 

As we descended from the 
trees and into the grasslands, be- 
gan to experiment with bipedal 
gait and omnivorous diet, we en- 
countered mushrooms. At low 
doses, they increase visual acu- 
ity; at midrange, they cause gen- 
eral central-nervous-system 
arousal, which in a highly 
sexed primate means a lot of 
horsing around, which means 
there is more pregnancy among 
females. associated with psilo- 
cybin-using behavior. Higher 
dosages' of psilocybin leads to 
group sexuality and dissolved 
boundaries between individu- 
als. The ego dissolves and you 
experience boundary ecstasy. 
We can assume that as the lev- 
el of ingestion became high 
enough, egoless states were 
quite common. 

The way I analyze the mod- 
ern predicament — pollution, 
male dominance, there are a mil- 
lion ways to say it — the overriding problems are brought on 
by the existence of the ego, a maladaptive behavioral com- 
plex in the psyche that ge.ts going like a tumor. If it's not 
treated— if there's not pharmacological intervention — it be- 
comes the dominant constellation of the personality. 
Omni: How did all this play out? 

McKenna: From 75,000 to about 15,000 years ago, there was 
a kind of human paradise on Earth, People danced, sang, 
had poetry, jokes, riddles, intrigue, and-weapons, but they 

72 OMNI 

Dimethyltryptamine is chemically related to the 
LSD, psilocybin class of hallucinogenic drugs. It 
is a serotonin agonist; that is, it mimics the neuro- 
transmitter serotonin, but interferes with its normal 
action. This class of drugs enhances the brain's 
sensitivity to many kinds of incoming information. 
As an agonist, DMT locks into receptors of neu- 
rons usually available to serotonin and competes 
with— often "winning out" over — serotonin at the 
receptor site. To find out more about DMTs mechan- 
ism of action, we consulted leading neurobiologist 
and serotonin investigator, Dr. George Aghajan- 
ian of the Yale University School of Medicine. 
Aghajanian: I'm finding that except for the fact 
that it has a very short duration of action— 30 to 
45 minutes—DMT has the same effects on vari- 
ous receptors, particularly the serotonin-2 (5- 
HT2) receptor, as the other hallucinogens — LSD 
or mescaline — that can have effects for up to 
eight hours. 

Omni: Is 5-HT2 a postsynaptic receptor? 
Aghajanian: Yes. DMT also works on a presynap- 
tic receptor, but that is not the action respon- 
sible for its hallucinogenic effects, 
Omni: Since DMT binds at these receptors, 
does that mean it is found naturally in the brain? 
Aghajanian: Enzymes able to synthesize DMT ex- 
ist in certain tissues, such as in the lungs. But 
there's no "evidence that more than a trace of 
DMT exists in the body, not enough to have any 
pharmacological effect. 

Omni: What's the difference between DMT and 
LSD, psilocybin, and so forth 9 
Aghajanian: All the other psychedelic hallucin- 
ogens I've looked at in tissue— brain slices — 
have a- remarkable prolonged effect. So it's in- 
teresting that in the same preparation, DMT has 
a short-lived effect corresponding to its brief ac- 
tion clinically. 

Omni: Why do the other psychedelics have more 
prolonged effects? 

Aghajanian: I think the other hallucinogens are 
taken up in lipid [fat] compartments of the 
brain, cell membranes, and elsewhere and that 
the drug is released slowly from these compart- 
ments. The persistence of effects depends on 
the continued presence of the drug. DMT is not 
very lipid soluble, so it's not stored in the lipid 
compartments and thus washes out rapidly: 

didn't possess the notion of ego 
as we've allowed it to crystallize 
in' Western societies. The rea- 
son for this lack of ego was a 
social style of mushroom taking 
and an orgiastic -sexual, style 
that was probably lunar in its 
timing. Nobody went more than 
three or four weeks before they 
were redissolved into pure feel- 
ing and boundary dissolution. 
Community, loyalty, altruism., 
self-sacrifice— all these values 
that we take to be the basis of 
humanness — arose at that time 
in a situation in which the ego 
was absent. 

Omni: If this was all so wonder- 
ful, why did it end? 
McKenna: The most elegant 
explanation is that the very 
force that created the original 
breakthrough swept away its 
conditions. The climatological 
drying of Africa torced us out of 
the forest canopy, onto the grass- 
lands, and into bipedalism and 
omnivorous diets. We lived in 
that paradisaical grasslands sit- 
uation, but the climate was slow- 
ly getting drier. Mushrooms be- 
gan to be less available. There 
could've been many strategies 
for obtaining mushrooms, all 
detrimental. The first would be 
to do it only at great holidays, 
and only a certain class of peo- 
ple — shamans, for example. 

Eventually the mushroom on- 
ly existed around water holes in 
the rain shadows of certain 
mountains; finally, the mush- 
room was gone. At that mo- 
ment, under great pressure 
from the drying climate, agricul- 
ture was invented, Agriculture 
represents an intellectual under- 
standing of how cause and ef- 
fect can be separated in time. 
You return to last year's camp, 
look where you discarded the 
trash, and there all in one 
place are the food plants you so 
carefully gathered. Women, the gatherers, put this together: 
Wow! Bury food, come back a year later, and it's there. This 
was a watershed in the development of abstract thought. 

At the same time, men were understanding that the sex 
act, previously associated with this group orgiastic stuff, was 
the equivalent of burying food and coming back a year lat- 
er! Male paternity is recognized as a phenomenon. The 
road to hell is paved— eight lanes'— from that point on. The 
man thinks my— my children, not our children— and there- 

fore, animals I kill are food for my wom- 
en and my children. Women are seen 
as property. The ego is rampant and in 
full force. 

Omni: How does data on psilocybin sup- 
port your theory? 

McKenna: Well, here's the problem: Psil- 
ocybin, discovered in 1953, not chem- 
ically characterized until 1957, became 
illegal in 1 966. The window of opportu- 
nity to study this drug in humans was 
only nine years. People working with psil- 
ocybin never dreamed ihey'd be forbid- 
den by law to work in this area. When 
LSD was first released into the psycho- 
therapeutic community, it swept 
through with the same impact that the 
news of the splitting of the atom 
touched. the physics community. Peo- 
ple thought, "Afr-ha! Now we're going 
to understand mental illness, trauma, 
and obsession, this being only the first 
of a family of drugs that will lead to an 
operational understanding of the gen- 
esis and curing of neuroses!" 

When the scientific establishment 
was informed that there would be no 
government- grant support for psyche- 
delic research, they just bowed their 
fuzzy heads and went along with it The 
consequences of their failure to stand 
up to that decision is a mangled socie- 
ty and a science that hasn't fulfilled 
it's agenda. In no other instance has 
science laid down so gutlessly and 
allowed the state to tell it how to do 
its business. 

I'm not trying to make a revolution in 
primate archaeology or theories of hu- 
man emergence. My scenario, if true, 
has enormous implications. For 10,000 
years, with the language and social 
skills of angels, we've pursued an agen- 
da of beasts and demons. Human be- 
ings created an altruistic communal so- 
, ciety; then, by withdrawing the psilo- 
cybin or having it become unavailable, 
we've had nothing to fall back upon ex- 
cept old primate behaviors, all tooth- 
and-claw dominance. 
Omni: You're giving an enormous 
amount of power to a drug. What can 
you tell me about psilocybin? 
McKenna: We don't know what DMT 
means. It's like Columbus sighting 
land, and somebody says, "So you saw 
land; is that a big deal?" And Colum- 
bus says, "You don't understand; it is 
the New World." 

For the last 500 years, Western cul- 
ture has suppressed the idea of disem- 
bodied intelligences — of the presence 
and reality of spirit. Thirty seconds into 
the DMT flash, and that's a dead issue. 
The drug shows us that culture is an ar- 
tifact. You can be a New York psycho- 
therapist or a Yoruba shaman, but 
these are just provisional realities you're 

committed to out of conventional or lo- 
cal customs. 

Omni: Well, it gives one something to 
do, Terence. 

McKenna: Yes, but most people think 
it's what's happening. Psilocybin shows 
you everything you know is wrong. The 
world is not a single, one-dimensional, for- 
ward-moving, causal, connected thing, 
but some kind of interdimensional nexus. 
Omni: If everything I know is wrong, 
then what? 

McKenna: You have to reconstruct. It's 
immediately a tremendous permission 
for the imagination. I don't have to fol- 
low Sartre, Jesus, or anybody else. Eve- 
rything melts away, and you say, "It's 
just me, my mind, and Mother Nature." 
This drug shows us that what's waiting 
on the other side is a terrifyingly real self- 
consistent modality, a world that stays 
constant every time you visit it. 
Omni: What is waiting? Who? 
McKenna: You burst into a space. Some- 
how, you can tell it's underground or an 
immense weight is above it. There's a 
feeling of enclosure, yet the space it- 
self is open, warm, comfortable, uphol- 
stered in some very sensual material. 
Eniities there are completely formed. 
There's no ambiguity about the fact 
that these entities are there. 
Omni: What are they like, Terence? 
McKenna: Trying to describe them isn't 
easy, On one level I call them self- 
transforming machine elves: half ma- 
chine, half elf. They are also like self- 
dribbling jeweled basketballs, about 
half that volume, and they move very 
quickly and change. And they are, some- 
how, awaiting. When you burst into 
this space, there's a cheer! Pink Floyd 
has a song, "The Gnomes Have 
Learned a New Way to Say Hooray." 
Then they come forward and tell you, 
"Do not give way to amazement. Do not 
abandon yourself." You're amazing y as- 
tonished. The most conservative ex- 
planation for these elves, since these 
things are speaking English and are in- 
telligent, is that they're some kind of hu- 
man beings. They're obviously not like 
you and me, so they're either the pre- 
natal or postmortal phase of human ex- 
istence, or maybe both, if you follow In- 
dian--thinking. You're saying, "Heart 
beat? Normal. Pulse? Normal." But 
your mind is saying, "No, no. I must be 
dead. It's too radical, too fucking radi- 
cal. It's not the drug; drugs don't do 
stuff like this." Meanwhile, what you're 
seeing is not going away. 
Omni: What are these elves, these crea- 
tures about? 

McKenna; They are teaching some- 
thing. Theirs is a higher dimensional lan- 
guage that condenses as a visible syn- 
tax. For us, syntax is the structure of I 





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meaning; meaning is something heard 
or felt. In this world, syntax is something 
you see. There, the boundless mean- 
ings of language cause it to overflow 
the normal audio channels and enter 
the visual channels. They come bounc- 
ing, hopping toward you, and then it's 
like — all this is metaphor; they don't 
have arms — it's as though they reach 
into their intestines and offer you some- 
thing. They offer you an object so beau- 
tiful, so intricately wrought, so some- 
thing else that cannot be said in Eng- 
lish, that just gazing on this thing, you 
realize such an object is impossible. 
The best comparison is Faberge eggs. 

The object generates other objects, 
and it's all happening in a scene of 
wild merriment and confusion. 

Ordinarily language creates a system 
of conventional meanings based on path- 
ways determined by experience. DMT 
drops you into a place where the 
stress is on a transcending language. 
Language is a tool for communicating, 
but it fails at its own game because it's 
context-dependent. Everything is a sys- 
tem of referential metaphors. We say, 
"The skyline of New York is like the Hima- 
layas, the Himalayas are like the stock 
market's recent performance, and 
that's like my moods" — a set of interlock- 
ing metaphors. 

We have either foreground or back- 
ground, either object or being. If some- 
thing doesn't fall into these categories, 
we go into a kind of loop of cognitive 
dissonance. If you get something from 
outside the metaphorical system, it 
doesn't compute. That's why we need 
astonishment. Astonishment is the re- 
action of the body to the ineffectiveness 
of its descriptive machinery. You pro- 
ject your description, and it keeps com- 
ing back. Rejected. Astonishment 
breaks the loop. 

Omni: What other experiences can you 
liken to the DMT trip? 
McKenna: The archetype of DMT is the 
three-ring circus. The circus is all 
bright lights, ladies in spangled cos- 
tumes, and wild animals. But right 
derneath, it's some fairly dark expres- 
sion of Eros and freaks and unrooted- 
ness and mystery. DMT is the quintes- 
sence of that archetype. The drug is try- 
ing to tell us the true nature of the 
game: Reality is a theatrical illusion. So 
you want to find your way to the impre- 
sario who produces this and then dis- 
cuss his next picture with him. 
Omni: So the circus is really just a door- 
way. How does it end? 
McKenna: This crazy stuff goes on for 
90 seconds; then you fall away from it. 
They bid you farewell. In one case 

they said to me: "Deja vu; deja vu!" 
Omni: You've devoted a good part of 
your life to mapping the DMT and psil- 
ocybin terrain. How would you interpret 
all of it? 

McKenna: These drugs can dissolve in 
a single lightning stroke all our provi- 
sional programming. The drugs carry 
you back to the truth of the organism 
that language, conditioning, and behav- 
ior are entirely designed to mask. 
Once on the substance, you are reborn 
outside the envelope of culture and of 
language. You literally come naked in- 
to this new domain. 
Omni: What do you say to doubters? 
McKenna: DMT is utterly defeating of 
the drug phobia. We could get rid of all 
drugs but DMT and psilocybin and 
have thrown out nothing. The fact that 
DMT is so brief and intense makes it 
look as if it's designed for doubters. 
Someone will say, "I can't risk five 
hours on a drug. It's nuts." The unspo- 
ken thing they're saying is, "My career, 
my life, will be ruined, so keep it away 
from me." But if you say to these peo- 
ple, "Look, you're making these state- 
ments about drugs. Can you invest ten 
minutes? . . ." 

DMT is inhaled. The entire trip lasts 
that long with no after-feelings^ They, 
fools that they are, with a naive version 


A/t£OT Stms 








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; the Red Planet host to a third 

lunar body or UFOs? 

strange voices come out Nonetheless, 

ol your blender or the OPI's investigate 

bathroom's walls? Who in debunking the 

you gonna call? mal. "I've come i 

If Loyd Auerbach, some cases that 

author of Reincarnation, the presence of 

Channeling, and Posses- ghosts," he note 

sion (Warner, 1993), has though skeptics 
his way, you'll turn ' 
Orinda, California- 

pressed against the moth- 

approach. "Americans are 

while, hopes that such 

er's abdomen; patting and 

determined to do what's 

evidence will be available 

rubbing the abdomen 

good for their children, so 

in the near future. "Simifa 

rhythmically, until baby 

there will be a market for a 

programs have recently 

(icks back; shining a 

book that promises to tell 

lashlight through the 

you how to have a 

Venezuela and Thailand,' 

abdomen; and even 

healthier, happier, smarter 

he states, "and the 

playing music that the 

baby," he says. "But 1 

researchers in those 

etus can hear. These 

haven't seen any inde- 

places are reporting the 

exercises. Van de Carr 

pendently refereed scien- 

same type of beneficial 

contends, "stimulate the 

tific papers supporting Van 

effects found by us." 

arain areas responsible for 

de Carr s claims.' 

— Keith Harary 

1 De Carr has been and re 

designing and testing wl" + ' ~ r " r/ 

is "a romnrphfan ,...., 

al de Carr is generally on tl" 
'~ right tr — '" 
odii t, nww liuuiv ntniuiiti I adds thar ms c 


with psychologist Mark 
Leher and published by 
' nics Publishing 

;ible in a simf 
step-by-step guide. By 
playing learning games 
with a developing fetus 
beginning five months 

jve the child's intellec- 

lalking directly to the 

and her mate 
as establishing a 
loving bridge between % 
mother and baby. Any 1 
program that leads to 
enhanced prenatal bond- 
ing," notes Verny, "is all 

jrsity of North 

a psychologist An- 

ftween \ /& 

Tfe® Artist 






-Swff — ir 


ffc ivas only one 
o-F hie- 



' aration for building Freedom, the Rus- 
sians have steadily enlarged their Mir 
space station. Incidentally, Mir's solar 
panels apparently use gallium-arsenide 
solar cells rather than the more com- 
mon silicon cells. Gallium-arsenide so- 
lar cells are more efficient and with- 
stand the rigors of the space environ- 
ment better than silicon cells, two im- 
portant benefits for an SPS. 

Building a demonstration SPS of 100 
megawatts would undoubtedly create 
the need for rocket boosters capable 
of lifting heavy tonnages at relatively low 
cost, encouraging the aerospace indus- 
try to move :owaro heavy-lift boosters 
that could lower the cost of putting pay- 
loads in low Earth orbit from the current 
$5,000 per pound to $500 per pound 
or less, it would offer a peacetime mar- 
ket for the aerospace industry, hard hit 
by the end of the Cold War and the 
scaledown of the U.S. military. 

Peter Glaser invented the SPS con- 
cept. A vice president of Arthur D. Lit- 
tle, he points out that Japan leads the 
world in two of the key SPS technolo- 
gies: microwave generators and solar 
cells that convert sunlight to electricity. 
Bui the Japanese don't incorporate 
those technologies into their space pro- 
gram. Instead, they use them in manu- 
facturing solar-powered pocket calcu- 
lators and microwave ovens, product ar- 
eas in which they lead the world. 

"By developing these commercial- 
appliance markets," Glaser says, "the 
Japanese are earning huge sums of 
money while they set up the industrial 
capacity to build solar cells and micro- 
wave systems for an SPS and continue 
. to work on SPS-related technology and 
demonstration programs." 

Pointing out that energy already rep- 
resents a tririon-doMar a-year g.oba! mar- 
ket, Glaser believes the economic su- 
perpowers of the twenty-first century 
will be those who develop and market 
new energy technologies. 

"Japanese strategic planners look 
ahead thirty years as a matter of 
course," he says. "Major Japanese cor- 
porations have smaller planning 
groups that look even further ahead, up 
to a hundred years." 

At press time, Japan planned to test 
in April a microwave transmission sys- 
tem in space thatwould beam one kilo- 
watt of energy from a spacecraft to a 
satellite.. It's the first step in Japan's SPS 
2000 program, which calls for testing a 
ten-megawatt system in orbit, presum- 
ably around the year 2000. 

Would a major U.S. effort an 

SPS encourage inter rational coopera- 
tion? Or might we see a new space 
race in a few years, a race to be the 
first to deliver electrical power from 

space at a profit? That trillion-dollar glob- 
al market in energy will grow even larg- 
er in the next few decades, 

Whal would the oil-rich nations of 
OPEC do? Nations dependent on oil ex- 
ports might begin lo see thai they 
should invest in SPS technology as a 
hedge against the inevitable. Not only 
could oil dollars be a considerable 
source of capital for SPS developers, 
but existing desert oil fields could be 
convenient sites tor SPS receiving sta- 
tions, remote from large population cen- 
ters and blessed with clear, dry skies. 

How much would a demonstration 
SPS of 100 megawatts cost? It depends 
on many factors yet to be evaluated: gal- 
lium-arsenide solar cells versus silicon, 
launch costs, size of the SPS itself, trade- 
offs between robotics and human 
crews in space, development costs for 
new construction techniques, and the 
costs of maintaining construction 
crews in orbit. Even the possibility of mir 
ing most of the SPS's raw materials o 
the moon should be considered. 

However, it seems clear that an SPS 
program would require a major finan- 
cial commitment. A Department of En- 
ergy study concluded in 1980 that the 
capital cost of the first SPS would be 
on the order of $15 billion. Glaser in- 
sists that this is much too high and 
adds that no matter how much the first 
SPS costs, the second and all subse- 
quent ones would be no more expen- 
sive to build than a nuclear-power 
plant: some $900 million apiece. 

How would such a program be f 
nanced? Not the way the U.S. space pro- 
gram has been financed so far. Allocat- 
ing tax dollars "from the federal budget 
directly to the space program suffers 
from two major, interlinked problems. 

First, it makes the program depend- 
ent on the political whims in Washing- 
ton each year. No one who receives fed- 
eral funding can count on support 
from one year to the next. 

Second, and closely connected to 
the first problem, political support for a 
program depends on popular support 
among the taxpayers. The typical mem- 
ber of Congress holds much more in- 
terest in pork-barrel programs that v'" 
bring federal money to his or her state 
than in programs that send federal dol- 
lars to other states. The space program 
draws most of its political support from 
those states where space dollars are 
spent: Florida, California, and Texas. 

To soundly fund a program as large 
and long-range as the development of 
a solar-power satellite, the capital 

We didn't 
invent the lime. 


We just 
perfected it. 


A singular experience. 

musi come from somewhere other 
than the Capitol. 

There is a way — a way that has 
worked in the past, as Stephen L. Gil- 
lett and I showed in "Spaceward Ho!" 
in the July 1-991 issue of Omni. In the 
early years of this century, the federal 
government and private entrepreneurs 
successfully worked together to build 
the massive hydroelectric power dams 
of the western United States. The 
same funding technique could finance 
development of a demonstration SPS. 

'The big power dams were financed 
by long-term, low-interest federal 
loans. Loans, not grants. For example, 
Hoover Dam paid off its 4-percent loan 
in 1986, 50 years after it first started sell- 
ing electricity to customers in the South- 
west. Money for an SPS could likewise 
come from federal loans or by federal 
guarantees for commercial lenders, 
much the same way that Washington 
helped bail out Chrysler in 1979. The 
program would undoubtedly need 
some federal seed money to get start- 
ed. NASA might serve as the govern- 
ment's focal agency, much as the Bu- 
reau of Reclamation served on the pow- 
er-dam projects. If NASA's role in an 
SPS is confined to managerial oversight 
of private companies, the bulk of the 
space agency's talents (and budget) 

could be turned back to what NASA 
does so well: exploring the universe. 

Glaser believes in a "terraced" ap- 
proach. Rather than building the first 
SPS from scratch, he feels that a series 
of intermediate goals would help devel- 
op the necessary technical and indus- 
trial prowess. NASA used a similar ap- 
proach to get to the moon, starting 
with the one-man Mercury flights, con- 
tinuing with the two-man Gemini mis- 
sions, and including the unmanned 
Ranger and Surveyor lunar probes. 

One such "terrace" might be beam- 
ing electrical power from a ground- 
based station to a remote site. Glaser 
suggests that electricity could be gen- 
erated at geothermal power stations in 
Hawaii, for example, and beamed to oth- 
er islands. Power could travel across in- 
tercontinental distances by relaying mi- 
crowave beams reflected oil satellites 
the way communications signals are re- 
layed by comsats. 

A successful demonstration SPS 
could put the United States (andany oth- 
er nations that join the effort) at the fore- 
front of energy technology. By using fed- 
erally based loans rather than outright 
grants, the program could generate pri- 
vate investment in space development. 

-Such a program would stimulate the 
growth .of the kind of infrastructure in 

<T7CJ)lK&^ /- 

space necessary to further develop 
this New Frontier. An SPS demonstra- 
tion program would take at least a dec- 
ade to carry out, requiring living quar- 
ters in orbit for sizable numbers of 
construction workers, engineers, astro- 
nauts, and support personnel such as 
medical doctors. 

Once the first SPS is finished, those 
facilities — and those highly skilled and 
trained men and women — would be 
ready and able to do more in space. 
Moreover, the technological advances 
generated by the project would create 
new jobs and whole new industries, 
just as personal computers and mod- 
ern medical sensors were the offspring 
of the Apollo program. 

While the first demonstration SPS 
would probably consist entirely of ter- 
restrial materials, eventually it would be- 
come cheaper and more efficient to 
mine the raw materials for solar-power 
satellites and other space facilities on 
the moon. Samples of the lunar rego- 
lith returned by the Apollo astronauts 
are rich in silicon, aluminum, oxygen, 
and other valuable natural resources. 
Meanwhile, that first SPS would be 
generating electricity to be sold while 
providing a test bed for studies of the 
long-term biological effects of micro- 
wave transmissions. Nations would 
build more solar-power satellites, and 
a new industry would arise: electrical 
power delivered cleanly and cheaply 
from space. 

Cheaply? Yes, in the long term. For 
while an SPS would cost a lot to build, 
it would be cheap to operate: no fuel 
bills because the power would come 
from sunlight. 

And perhaps some fraction of the 
vast amounts of electricity generated in 
orbit by solar-power satellites could go 
to powering extremely sophisticated 
spacecraft as they probe the planets of 
our solar system and beyond. 

This should be the focus of the 
United States' efforts in space. It's 
time to use space technology to bene- 
fit the taxpayers who have invested in 
its development. It's time to make a vis- 
ible profit from space. Only then will we 
have the ungrudging support of the gen- 
eral public in further exploration and de- 
velopment of this New Frontier. 

It was John F. Kennedy, architect of 
the New Frontier, who pointed out, 
"Now is the time to take longer strides — 
time for a great new American enter- 
prise — time for this nation to take a clear- 
ly leading role in space achievement. 
which in many ways may hold the key 
to our future on Earth." 

He was speaking of reaching for the 
moon, but his words are even more val- 
id today. DO 


current space shuttle missions are 
launched, and the answer with equal 
consistency will be Cape Canaveral. Peo- 
ple should stick to the sailing-ships an- 
swer, because for manned spaceships, 
Cape Canaveral is wrong, 

"Maybe people are fooled because 
the pads are so near the beach," sug- 
gests a MASA press official. "But the 
shuttle pads are on an island mostly sep- 
arated from Cape Canaveral by the Ba- 
nana River." As clearly shown on all of- 
ficial NAGA documents and standard 
topographic charts, the pads lie inside 
the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt 
Island, located to the north and west of 
a long, sandy island that for more than 
400 years {except 1963 to 1973, when 
it was "Cape Kennedy") has been 
called "Cape Canaveral." 

"The first space shots really were 
from the Cape," explains an old-time 
newsman who has retired to nearby Co- 
coa Beach, "so people just got into the 
habit." Bui since the las! manned space- 
flight from Cape Canaveral was 30 
years ago, more than mere force of hab- 
it must be at work. To say "the Cape" 
conjures up far more idyllic visions of 
space adventure than does the sterile 
acronym "KSC" or "Merritt Island." 
Right or wrong, it sounds good, and 
there seems to be no harm in "know- 
ing" what, in this case, "ain't so." 

At least there's no intentional fraud 
here, The Soviets deliberately created 
their own geographic confusion, trying 
to conceal the location of their 
manned space center. By 1957, CIA 
spy planes had spotted the pad near 
the Central Asian railway station of 
Tyura-Tam, which CIA analysts pro- 
ceeded to misspell forever after as "Tyu- 
ratam." In 1961, the Soviets, in a vain 
attempt at ex post facto geographic dis- 
information, named their launch site 
"Baikonur," which was itself a clumsy 
transliteration of Baikonyr, a small min- 
ing village hundreds of miles from the 
space base. When Kazakhstan be- 
came autonomous in 1991 and took 
nominal sovereignty over the spaceport, 
its leaders began referring to it as "Bai- 
konyr." Perhaps someday the Russians 
can drop the now-admitted fraud once 
and for all and name the space base for 
the man who founded it, Sergei Korolev; 
then all the world's maps could carry a 
single — and honorable — designation. 

Blow Up 

Special-effects wizards love space- 
vacuum scenes. In Total Recall (set on 
Mars) and a dozen other Hollywood 

space westerns, move makers ta<e :he 
standard gory approach of painfully puff- 
ing torsos and grapelike bursting eye- 
balls to show what happens to a human 
thrown out into open space. Such an 
imaginary fate is enough, wrote veter- 
an spacewalker Michael Collins in his 
lyrical autobiography Carrying the Fire, 
to make a spaceman think long, encour- 
aging thoughts about "the little old la- 
dies and their gluepots" who assemble 
each NASA spacesuit by hand. 

But one Hollywood director, Stanley 
Kubrick, was much more accurate 
about this (and so much else) in his 
1968 cult classic, 2001: A Space Od- 
yssey. Deep-space voyager Bowman 
outwits the psychotic autopilot HAL by 
jumping into an open airlock without his 
helmet and then boarding the ship to 
lobotomize the mutinous microchip. Ac- 
tually, author Arthur C. Clarke got it 
right first, back in the 1950s: He knew 
that the physical toughness of the hu- 
man body allows it to resist deformation 
even in a full vacuum. A human will suf- 
focate and double over in pain trorn the 
bends — and lapse into unconscious- 
ness in just seven seconds— but at 
least the eyeballs won't pop out. 

"What you should expect is to fart a 
lot," notes a space-medicine expert at 
Cape Canaveral. 

In a spaceflight tragedy in 1971, 
three Soviet cosmonauts went to vacu- 
um in shirt sleeves during an acciden- 
tal depressurization during their return 
to Earth. Recently released top-secret 
Soviet space films show them receiving 
emergency resuscitation after landing. 
They had gone without air too long — 
about 30 minutes — to be revived, but 
their bodies were not physically de- 
formed by the exposure to vacuum. 

Running Out of Oxygen 

Being trapped in space is a science- 
fiction nightmare, and on a few occa- 
sions, it has been a real-life spaceflight 
threat. In 1988, a Soviet crew had to re- 
main in space for an extra day when con- 
trol problems confused its onboard 
puter. (This, by the way, was the occa- 
sion of my confrontation with the misin- 
formed congressman mentioned earli 
er.JAnd, in 1990, two Soviet spacewalk- 
ers found their main airlock hatch too 
damaged to close properly; they later 
used a backup hatch. To enhance the 
drama of their 30-second narratives, the 
news media usually breathlessly de- 
scribes the impending death of the 
crew members when "their oxygen 
runs out." But in reality, nobody 
trapped in space will die from lack of 
oxygen. They may die, but there will be 
plenty of oxygen left in their cabins or 
spacesuits when they do. 

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What can kill a person in a space- 
craft (or a locked room on Earth) is not 
the oxygen running out but the exhaled 
carbon dioxide building up. After a 
while, the body can't expel any more 
waste gas into the air through the 
lungs, because the air breathed into the 
lungs from outside contains too much 
carbon dioxide already. Ultimately, the 
waste-saturated blood becomes poison- 
ous to the body and kills it. But while 
this occurs, there will be plenty of breath- 
able oxygen left in the room, although 
it will be poisoned by high levels of car- 
bon dioxide. 

Bum, Spaceship, Burn! 

How many times have we heard about 
how spacecraft turn into blazing fire- 
balls when they reenter the atmosphere 
due to "the heat of friction." True, space- 
ships hit the upper atmosphere at 
Mach 25, and there are flames. But if 
the friction of air rushing across the 
spacecraft's skin really causes those 
flames, then how could the space shut- 
tle's fragile protective tiles, which even 
a fingernail or a raindrop can damage 
and which come off with small hand 
tools, survive such a hypersonic blast 
without wearing or tearing away? 

It turns out that the friction of air rub- 
bing against spaceship skin (the bound- 
ary layer) has little to do with the fire- 
ball. Rather, compression mostly cre- 
ates the heat as the thin air is squeezed 
in the shock layer ahead of the onrush- 
ing spacecraft. The air can't get out of 
the way fast enough, like snow in front 
of a plow, so it piles up. 

Heating from air compression is fa- 
miliar to anyone who's ever blown up 
an air mattress or a tire and felt the 
warmth with their hand, but it occurs on 
a much greater scale with spaceflight. 
The compressed, lower-speed, super- 
heated air forms a mass of glowing plas- 
ma a meter or so in front of the descend- 
ing spacecraft, and the air then moves 
through the shock layer to the bounda- 
ry layer, transmitting heat to the space- 
craft's surface by direct physical conduc- 
tion. That's why the glass-fiber insulation 
of the tiles works so well: It transports 
heat very slowly along the fibers, and 
it radiates much of it back out into 
space. Meanwhile, the air that's in con- 
tact with the tiles moves across them 
much more slowly than the speed at 
which the spacecraft itself rushes 
through the atmosphere. 

Where did this misconception come 
from? It's an old concept handed 
down by newsmen and writers from gen- 
eration to generation. Frictional heating 
actually did cause great concern back 
in the 1950s when streamlined super- 
sonic rocket planes pushed to the 

Mach 3, 4, or 5 speeds. The planes' de- 
signers did all they could to minimize 
drag so a rocket plane's engine could 
accelerate it to higher speeds despite 
the air holding it back. The passing air 
did indeed rush across the skin's sur- 
face, forming a physical phenomenon 
called the boundary layer, in which air 
friction caused dangerous heating of 
the plane's skin. The aircraft needed spe- 
cial protection to keep the skin from burn- 
ing off, and the same still applies for rock- 
et-plane designs today. 

But as soon as flights to space and 
back started, the object of aerodynam- 
ic design changed, and so did space- 
craft shapes. The designers no longer 
had to figure out how to speed up the 
craft more efficiently during thrusting, 
but instead, how to slow down with the 
least heating of the surface. Engineers 
worked to minimize the heating of fall- 
ing space vehicles through the use of 
blunt shapes. This, in turn, created the 
shock layer, the compressional heating, 
and the famous flames. 

The Impact of Space Myth-takes 
For visitors coming to NASA's Houston 
center in search of the fabled "zero- 
gravity room" used for training astro- 
nauts, the shock of reality can be 
harsh. When they're told that it doesn't 
exist, they sometimes argue with the 
guides. "We've seen it on television," 
some insist, confusing half-remembered 
images of the Boeing 707 zero-G air- 
plane (nicknamed the "Vomit Comet" 
for what its midair gymnastics do to pas- 
sengers' stomachs) and the pool 
where astronauts get accustomed to 
moving around in their spacesuits. 
Most accept the guides' explanations 
grudgingly, but others refuse to disbe- 
lieve the myths. One U.S. UFO lecturer 
even tours the country describing his vis- 
it to the zero-G chamber, now classi- 
fied, he says, "above top secret." 

These kinds of misconceptions are 
amusing and mostly harmless because 
they don't have far-reaching impacts. 
Much more serious is the profusion of 
mythical knowledge among politicians 
and government officials. These people 
often attempt to base plans for the 
third millennium on eighteenth-century 
stereotypes, analogies, and paradigms. 
The resulting decisions don't work be- 
cause they don't recognize the realities 
of spaceflight. 

To comprehend the nation's options 
for the doctrines, strategies, and tactics 
for the future, this sadly astronomical 
gap between what people "know" and 
what is must be narrowed. Otherwise, 
the people who look foolish In the eyes 
of future generations won't be just the 
mistaken ones; they'll be all of us. DO 



stone surface and stole away the enve- 
lope holding his prints. She slid them 
into her hand and made a frantic ges- 
ture for his flashlight. She turned away 
from him, crouched over and laid the 
prints oh the ground. Shielding the 
light with her body, she switched it on. 
He heard her gasp, then further 
sounds of pleasure. He tried to make 
out details he might use later to recog- 
nize her under other circumstances, but 
her silhouette was as empty as a door- 
way into a starless sky, with only little 
wisps of reflected light peeking 
through her spiky hair like bursts of so- 
lar flares. He grew impatient listening to 
her. She sounded like a starving animal 
wolfing down a huge meal. 

"All right," he said finally, "you've 
seen enough." As he stepped toward 
her, she shut off the light and jumped 
back. The prints lay on the ground be- 
tween them like a dozen stray windows 
into a glossier world. He had the feel- 
ing that if he stepped on one he might 
fall into it— fall into that bathtub full of 
radiant blood. He could almost see the 
glare of the flash shining from the. time- 
frozen surface. Even in black and 
white, it had a reddish tint. 

"Come on, you said a trade. Let's 
have your dozen." 

She didn't move. He could tell she 
was measuring him. reading his char- 
acter in a way he'd never experienced 
before, eating him up with Ihe dark sunk- 
en pits in her face. He made a grab for 
his flashlight, wanting superstitiously to 
shine a beam into those hollows and 
fill them in with eyes. 

She backed away, being small 
enough that an edge of crypt shadow 
neatly swallowed half of her. Another stu- 
pid move and the rest would disappear. 
Without the light he felt more helpless 
than if she'd taken his gun. He held his 
ground, stooping to gather his prints. 
" "I showed you mine," he said, trying 
to keep the edge out of his voice. 
"You're the one who talked about 

"Mine didn't come out," she said. 

"What do you mean?" 

"I mean the roll was fogged, all 
twelve negs burned black, pure white 
prints. Nothing on them. I thought I 
could bring them with me, but it didn't 

"Wait a minute. You telling me 
there's no trade?" Now he was pissed, 
and ready to make a grab at her. She 
was little, she could elude him. He'd 
have to be fast. "Well fuck if I'm giving 
you my prints." 

"I saw them, that's enough. They 
came out good. You're a fine photog- 
rapher. I can tell how much work you 
put into them. And [ . . . appreciate 

That was it for Brovnik. Her whole sto- 
ry of being an accomplice, nothing but 
a lie to get a look at private records. 
This was suddenly more than person- 
al; he would make it official, too. 

He hurled the prints at her. They 
curled off in twelve different arcs, like 
a blossom opening around him as he 
leapt to cut her off. 

She gasped, spinning away, and 
found herself trapped in a corner 
where a tall family mausoleum backed 
up against the brick of the surrounding 
buildings, below a high row of broken 
windows. Nowhere for her to go. 

He stooped for the flashlight, which 
she'd dropped. "All right, lady," he 
said, and switched it on. 

The light caught her for a glancing 
instant, and that was all it took — all he 
got for his pains and for his memories. 
He saw that her skin was shimmery 
black, her short-cropped hair silvery 
gray, and the very centers of her eyes, 
brilliant white. Then she shrank to noth- 
ing and disappeared, like a little woman- 
shaped balloon deflating instantaneous- 
ly to the size of a speck of lichen on the 
marble tomb, then even smaller, gone. 

The beam hit nothing but the chipped 
brick wall and a slab of marble with 
some cryptic gang hieroglyphs streak- 
ing the side. 

He backed up, swinging the beam to 
and fro, up a/id down, looking for the 
crack she'd slid away through, the se- 
cret door that had opened to swallow 
her up, the rabbit hole, anything. Noth- 
ing. None of those things would explain 
what he'd seen, anyway. 

In the time he'd had to look at her, 
really look — and it was an almost sub- 
liminal impression— he'd seen that she 
wasn't any dwarf. She had none of the 
characteristic squashed features, no 
stubby fingers or any of that. For her 
size, she was perfectly proportioned — 
like a normal grown woman who had 
shrunk in the wash. This remained true 
as she vanished: All proportions 
stayed constant as if she were zoom- 
ing backward down a tunnel with her 
eyes fixed on his, until she blinked out. 
The last thing he remembered was her 
faintly wounded look, and her col- 
or ;. . that shifting silvery black like noth- 
ing he'd ever seen in a person — 
though tantalizingly familiar. 

Brovnik hunted through the cemetery 
till the sun came up, but he didn't find 
anything except his twelve dented, 
scratched prints. He shoved them in a 
crypt to rot and hurried back to his car. 




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In the strong morning sunlight it was 
just barely possible to not think of her 
consciously. But somewhere inside, his 
mind kept going over the details; the 
cop inside him wouldn't quit. 

It was his day off. After a few hours 
spent futiiely trying to sleep, he went in- 
to the lab, fished out the negatives of 
the Arbus suicide, and studied them on 
the lightboard. The hair looked similar 
to what he'd seen in the flashlight 
beam — an odd shiny gray, cropped 
short. The skin was the same shade of 
silvery black that no negro's skin had 
ever been. But that didn't mean it was 
her. The face might have proved some- 
thing, but he was spared the sight of 
her piercing white pupils staring out of 
his negatives because she'd slid face 
down in the tub. Still, when he looked at 
the spiky hair, he felt a chill he hoped 
wasn't wholly based on recognition. 

The next few days passed with ex- 
cruciating slowness as he waited for the 
sense of shock to move through his sys- 
tem and into the past so he could get 
on with a life of ordinary things. He had 
time off coming to him, and he took It. 
He went to the Catskills with an Insta- 
matic camera and took color snaps of 
waterfalls and old bridges and empty 
inner tubes bobbing down the Esopus 
River. He didn't take any pictures of 
people. He met a woman in a restau- 
rant bar who spent the night at his cab- 
in; in the morning she was gone but he 
felt reassured because she had van- 
ished in the usual way, while his eyes 
were closed. When he got back to the 
cityafter a week, he thought he'd put 
it all behind him; he thought he was 

His first night back on duty, a man 
shot his wife through the temples, cut 
the throats of his two-, three-, and tour- 
year-olds, strangled the family Dober- 
man (not necessarily in that order), and 
sentenced himself to life as a vegeta- 
ble by badly misjudging the trajectory 
of his final bullet. The photography 
posed a number of technical problems 
for Brovnik, due to the cramped condi- 
tions, but he was working them out in 
a cool professional way when he hap- 
pened to look through the open window 
onto the dark fire escape and saw the 
four of them standing there. Five, if you 
counted the dog. A tall silvery white wom- 
an, three little ones, and a four-legged 
mass of silver mist. Silvery white, with 
sharp white pupils, all looking at him as 
if he owed them something. It didn't 
make sense to him at first (and this was 
how his mind worked, hooked on little 
bits of logic he hoped might help him 
understand the larger problem) that 
they should all be silvery white, when 
the shrinking woman in the cemetery 

had been so inky black. 

"What .the fuck are you doing, Bra- 
vo? There's no pulse in that arm." 

He looked down in horror and saw 
that he had been posing a limp arm — 
adjusting the dead to make a better 

He backed off and drew the camera 
defensively to his eye, aiming it at the 
mother's splattered skull. For the first 
time he noticed that she was black. The 
children were black as well. So was the 
Doberman. All black. 

Lowering the camera, he saw five 
white negatives watching him. 

What did she do to me? he wondered. 

"Bravo? What is it?" 

He didn't answer the other cops. He 
knew he wouldn't ever be able to an- 
swer their questions. He forced his way 
to the window and showed his camera 
to the watchers outside, let them wit- 
ness him opening the back and expos- 
ing the film. He yanked out a yard of it, 
unspooling the celluloid, letting it go rib- 
boning into the night with all the latent 
images burned out, never to be seen, 
sparing them his camera's bite of im- 

As the woman in the graves had 
done, they shrank away to nothing. 
Five new stars burned briefly in the 
night, a bit too low to top the horizon, 
then blinked out. 

"Brovnik, what the fuck is wrong?" 
Heavy steps came toward him. 

"I have to get out," he said, stepping 
through the window. Questioning cries 
followed him all -the way down the fire 
escape to the street, where he walked 
away quickly from the lights of the 
squad cars, his camera tugging like a 
bloodhound on the trail of everything 
that had ever eluded him. DO 



Cover: Tsuneo Sanda; page 4, top: Pay. ! r*v. 
Network ["" 

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image Bank; page 94: Stanislaw Fernandes. 

of linear time, think, "Well, ten minutes. 
How bad can that be?" Then you have 
them. If they won't join after that, they'll 
at least shut up. 

Omni: Do you think there is such a 
thing as a bad trip? 
McKenna: A trip that causes you to 
learn faster than you want is what most 
people call a bad trip. Most people try 
to hold back on the learning inherent in 
drugs. But sometimes the drug releas- 
es the information and says, "Here's 
what you need to know." The informa- 
tion may be, "You treat people 
wrong!" and nobody wants to hear 
that or, "You need a divorce!" and that 
can be scary or, "You have some hab- 
its you need to think seriously about," 
and who wants to do that? 
Omni: How can you advocate drugs so 
strongly when such pain, disruption, 
and chaos may be associated with tak- 
ing them? 

McKenna: We should talk about the 
word ecstasy In our world, ruled by Mad- 
ison Avenue, ecstasy has come to 
mean the way you feel when you buy a 
Mercedes and can afford it. This is not 
the real meaning. Ecstasy is a complex 
emotion containing elements of joy, 
fear, terror, triumph, surrender, and em- 
pathy. What has replaced our prehis- 
toric understanding of this complex ot 
ecstasy now is the word comfort, a 
tremendously bloodless notion. Drugs 
are not comfortable, and anyone who 
thinks they are comtortable or even es- 
capist should not toy with drugs unless 
they're willing to get their noses 
rubbed in their own stuif. 
Omni: What people specifically 
should not take them? 
McKenna: People who are mentally un- 
stable, under enormous pressure, or op- 
erating equipment that the lives of hun- 
dreds of people depend on. Or the frag- 
ile ones among us— those to whom you 
wouldn't give a weekend airline ticket 
to Paris, those you wouldn't expect to 
guide you out of the Yukon. Some peo- 
ple have been so damaged by life that 
boundary dissolution is not helpful to 
them. These people are trying to main- 
tain boundaries, their functionality. 
They should be honored and support- 
ed and not encouraged to take drugs. 
If because ot genetic or cultural or psy- 
chological factors it's not for you, then 
it's not for you. 

We're not asking everybody to feel 
that they must take drugs, but rather, 
just as a woman should be free to con- 
trol her body, for heaven's sake, a per- 
son should also be free to control his 

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or her mind. Everyone should be free 
to do it and be well informed of the op- 
tion. Drug information isn't that much dif- 
ferent from sex information. We make 
a gesture toward sex education in 
schools. And we've come a long way: 
We no longer make adulterers stitch 
large letters on the fronts of their cloth- 
ing. But the issues of drugs are more 
complicated because there's a vast 
spectrum, from aspirin to heroin, and 
each has to be evaluated on its own 
strengths and weaknesses. 
Omni: Would you want education on 
the joys of drugs in high schools? 
McKenna: Absolutely, because these 
kids are already self-educating and in- 
forming each other through an under- 
ground body of unsanctioned, scientif- 
ically unexamined knowledge. We 
stand with the issues of drugs where we 
were with sex in the Twenties and Thir- 
ties. You learn by rumor. So peopie 
have funny ideas, knowing far more 
about crack than they know about mes- 
caline or psilocybin. 

Animal life has been transfused with 
something either willfully descended in- 
to matter or trapped by some cosmic 
drama. Something in an unseen dimen- 
sion is acting as. an attractor for our for- 
ward movement in understanding. 
Omni: Attractor? 

McKenna: It's a point in the future that 
affects us in the present. For example, 
if you were to do your Christmas shop- 
ping in July, then Christmas is an attrac- 
tor for your summer shopping habits. 
Our model that everything is pushed by 
the past into the future, by the neces- 
sity of causality, is wrong. There are ac- 
tual attractors ahead of us in time — 
like the gravitational field of a planet. 
Once you fall under an attractor's influ- 
ence, your trajectory is diverted. 
Omni: Does the attractor have a kind 
of irtei igence? 

McKenna: I think so. it's what we have 
naively built our religion around: God, 
totem. It's an extradimensional source 
of immense caring and reflection for the 
human enterprise. 

Omni: How will science explore the af- 
ter-death state? 

McKenna: By sending enough people 
into this other dimension tc satisfy them- 
selves thai this is eternity. Here the anal- 
ogy of the New World holds: A few lost 
sailors and shipwreck victims like my- 
self are coming back, saying, "There 
was no edge of the world. There was 
this other thing. Not death and dissolu- 
tion, not sea monsters and catastrophe, 
but valleys, rivers, cities of gold, high- 
ways." It will be a hard thing to swal- 
low, but then the scientists can go 
back to doing science on after-death 
states. They don't have to throw out 


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their method. 

Omni: Where is your hope? 
McKenna: With psychology and young 
people. They have what we never had: 
older people who went through a psy- 
chedelic phase. I'm meeting old freaks 
in Berlin, London, who are mentoring 
this thing and trying to keep it away 
from what we perceive as our mistakes, 
mainly political conirontationalism. LSD 
was a direct frontal assault on society. 
An inspirited undergraduate in biochem- 
istry with his roommate's $20,000 trust 
fund can turn out 5 to 10 million hits of 
this drug in a long weekend. This im- 
mediately created pyramids of criminal 
activity of such size and potential earn- 
ing power that the government react- 
ed as though a gun had been pointed 
at its head. Which it had. The proper 
strategy is stealth, subversion, and bor- 
ing from within, 

Omni: Terence, my friend, does any- 
thing scare you? 

McKenna; Madness. People always 
ask, "Will I die on drug A, B, or C?" 
That's the wrong question. Of course 
you can die, but what is at risk is your 
sanity, because it seems as though the 
deconstruction of reality has no bottom, 
and you can just move out into these 
places. I worry about not being able to 
contextualize these things, losing the 
thread allowing me to return to the hu- 
man community. We're trying to build 
bridges here, not just sail off. 
Omni: How do you see the future? 
McKenna: If history goes off endlessly 
into the future, it will be about scarcity, 
preservation of privilege, forced control 
of populations, the ever-more-sophisti- 
cated use of ideology to enchain and 
delude people. We are at the break- 
point. It's like when a woman comes to 
term. At a certain point, if the child is 
not severed from the mother and 
launched into its own separate exist- 
ence, toxemia will set in and create a 
huge medical crisis. 

The mushrooms said clearly, "When 
a species prepares to depart for the 
stars, the planet will be shaken to its 
core." All evolution has pushed for this 
moment, and there is no going back. 
What lies ahead is a dimension of 
such freedom and transcendence, 
that once in place, the idea of return- 
ing to the womb, will be preposterous. 
We will live in the imagination. We will 
quickly become unrecognizable to our 
former selves because we're now de- 
fined by our limitations: the laws of grav- 
ity; the need to eat, excrete, and make 
money. We have the will to expand 
infinitely into pleasure, caring, attention, 
and connectedness. If nothing more — 
and it's a lot more — it's permission to 
hope. DO 

92 OMNI 



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The results are in for the world's hardest IQ test 

By Scot Morris 

Last December, I printed 
here the Quest Test, an 
analogy-based, 59-question 
IQ test specifically designed 
to test high IQs. 1 invited 
readers to have [heir IQs 
computed for a small fee, 
and I promised to reveal the 
test answers in the May 
Omni. Printing the answers, 
of course, renders the Quest 
Test invalid for admission to 
any of the high-IQ societies. 
Regardless, Daryl Inmari, 
the test's creator, will 
continue to score tests 
under the rules explained in 
the December issue. 

At press time, Inman had 
received and scored 911 
responses, figuring ihe raw 
score and then computing 
the IQ. Inman had previous- 
ly assigned each of the 
questions a weight. for 
IQ-computation purposes; 
these scoring weights re 7 
main confidential: 

So far, Brian Piatt of 
Woods Cross, Utah, has the 
highest IQ, 160; he correctly 
completed 48 questions. 


Mary-J. Brew of Washington, 
DC, scored highest of ail the 
female respondents; she 
has an IQ of 156 and, like 
Piatt, a raw score of 48.. The 
average IQ of Omni readers 
came out to be 127. 
i ^ Matthew Jones of Center- 
rails, Utah, was the youngest 
respondent. A 13-year-old in 
| the eighth grade, he got 28 
questions right, achieving 
an IQ of 144. 

Most of the answers can 
be found in a typical desk- 
top dictionary. For explana- 
tions of some of them, send 
a self-addressed envelope 
with 29 cents postage to 
Quest Test Answers, 324 W. 
Wendover Avenue, Suite 
205, Greensboro, North 
Carolina 27408. 

1. Mother: Maternal :: 
Stepmother: Novercal 

2. Club: Axe :; Claviform: 

3. Cook Food: Pressure 
Cooker :: Kill Germs: 

4. Water:. Air ;; Hydraulic: 

5. Prediction: Dirac :: Proof: 

6. Raised: Sunken :: Cameo: 

7. 1: 14 :: Round: Stone 

8. Malay: Amok :: Eskimo 
Women: Piblokto 

9. Sexual Intercourse: A 
Virgin :: Bearing Children:' 

10. Jaundice, Vomiting, 
Hemorrhages: Syndrome :: 
Jaundice: Prodrome 

11. Guitar: Cello :: Segovia: 

12. Bars: Leaves :: Eagle: 

13. Roll: Aileron :: Yaw: 

14. 100: Century :: 10,000; 


15. Surface: Figure :: 
Mobius: Klein 

16. Logic: Philosophy :: To 
Know Without Conscious 
Reasoning: Noology 

17. Alive: Parasite :: Dead: 

18. Sea: Land :: Strait: 

19. Moses: Fluvial :: Noah: 

20. Remnant: Whole ;: 
Meteorite; Meteoroid 

21. Opossum, Kangaroo, 
Wombat: Marsupial.:: 
Salmon,. Sturgeon, Shad: 

22. Twain/Clemens: Allonym 
;: White House/President: 

23. Sculptor: Judoka :: Fine; 

24. Dependent: Independent 
:: Plankton: Nekton 

25. Matthew, Mark, Luke, 
John; Gospels :; Joshua- 
Malachi: Prophets 

26. Luminous Flux: Lumen ;; 
Sound Absorption: Sabin 
27- 2: 3 :: He: Li 

28. Growth: Temperature :: 
Pituitary. Gland: 

29. Spider; Arachnoidism ::■ 
Snake; Ophidianism 

30. Epigram: Anthology :: 
Foreign Passages: 

31. Pathogen: Thermometer 
:.: Lethal Wave; Dosimeter 
■32. Russia: Balalaika :: 

India: Sitar 

33. Involuntary: Sternutatory 
:: Voluntary: Emunctory 

34. Unusual Hunger: Bulimia 
;; Hunger for the Unusual: 

35. Blind: Stag ;; Tiresias; 

36. River: Fluvial :: Rain: 

37. Country: City :: Tariff: 


38. $/Doliar: Logogram :: 3, 
5, 14, 20/Cent: Cryptogram 

39. Lung Capacity: Spirom- 
eter :: Arterial Pressure: 

40. Gold: Ductile :; Ceramic: 

41. 7: 8 :: Uranium: 

42. Judaism: Messiah :: 
Islam: Mahdi 

43. Sight: Amaurosis :: 
Smell: Anosmia 

44. Oceans: Cousteau :: 
Close Encounters of the 
Third Kind: Hynek 

45: Diamond/Kimberlite: Per- 
imorph :: Fungus/Oak: 

46. Compulsion to Pull 
One's Hair: Trichotillomar. = 
:: Imagine Oneself as a 
Beast: Zoanthropy 

47. Cross: Neutralism :: 
Hexagram: Zionism 

48. Wing: Tail :: Fuselage: 

49. Bell: Loud :; Speak: 

50. Benevolence: Beg 5 
Philanthropist: Mendicant 

51. 10: Decimal :: 20: 

52. 5-sided Polyhedron: 
Pentahedron ;: Faces of 
Parallelepiped Boundec o; 
a Square: Hexahedron 

53. Motor: Helicopter :: 
Airflow: Autogyro 

54. Man: Ant :: Barter 

55. United States: Soviet 
Union :: Cubism: 

56. State: Stipend :: Church: 

57. Motorcycle: Bicycle :: 
Motordrome: Velodrome 

58. Transparent: Porous :: 
Obsidian: Pumice 

59. 7tr 2 h: Vzia^h :: Cylinder 
Cone DO